JAMMU, FEBRUARY 03, 2021: In a seminar held today on the theme of ‘Credit and Development’ by National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), Advisor to Lieutenant Governor, Baseer Ahmad Khan, exhorted upon all stakeholders to synchronize and calibrate efforts to achieve the desired outcomes regarding agricultural growth and development.

On the Occasion, Advisor unveiled a concept paper prepared by NABARD on the credit potential estimation of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. The paper titled ‘Collectivization of Agricultural Produce for Enhancing Farmer’s Income’ estimates the total credit potential to priority sectors in J&K at Rs 35583.25 crore. The document has been prepared by consolidating the potentials identified in the potential linked credit plans in priority sectors of every district of the UT.

The seminar was attended by Secretary RDD; VCs SKUAST Jammu and Kashmir; CMD NABARD; CMD J&K Bank; Regional Director, RBI and other senior level bankers, government officers besides agriculturists.

Advisor Khan reiterated that our approach should be cluster based having wholesome impact on ground. He asked for introspection on previous models that has not yielded expected results and using innovative methods to revitalize them either. He also emphasised on resurrecting farmers’ income by putting focus not only on infrastructure building but on social sectors also.

He asked the officers to create ample awareness among the farmers about the success of their counterparts elsewhere. He directed for highlighting the success stories during village seminars or utilizing services of panchayats.

He further asked for fine-tuning the plans with local needs to maximize the benefits besides enhancing their applicability on ground. He exhorted upon the need for promoting initiatives like ‘One District One Product’ for making tangible changes.

Chairman and Managing Director, NABARD, said that NABARD is rolling out a package of Rs 25991 crore for Jammu and Kashmir for next 5 years as accepted by Government of India. He said that by lending and upgrading the priority sectors like agriculture, handloom, handicrafts NABARD is making rural economy vibrant and sustainable.

He said that for the welfare of farmers, the necessary guidelines and plans are envisaged each year in line with the consultations made with banks and government departments. He further impressed on agricultural universities to provide high yielding and climate resilient seeds to farmers for increasing their produce and thereby their income.

Vice Chancellor SKUAST, Kashmir, said that we have to ensure that agricultural lands are not converted for non-agricultural purposes. He recommended added focus on livestock development, fodder production and enhancing output of agriculture by adopting integrative farming system.

VC, SKUAST Jammu emphasised on replicating many of the success stories he mentioned from this region saying that we have less land and less production so diversification and marketing of produce is going to make things better. He also stressed on reducing the wastage and increasing processing to make returns increase manifold as done by few of our agribusiness entrepreneurs. He asked for increasing share of farmers in consumer rupee from current 23% to 70%.

Secretary, Rural Development Department, said that for raising the income of farmers strategizing, raising infrastructure and creating avenues is equally important. She said that social sector development holds key towards overall development of priority sectors adding that all our activities should encourage farmers to adopt better techniques and technology to boost his income.

Chairman and Managing Director, J&K Bank, said that in the month of October last year, the bank visited each panchayat of J&K and offered a loan of Rs 260 crore to unemployed youth on the eve of ‘Back to Village’ programme. He said that we are working towards providing banking facilities to every area and would realise it shortly. He said that Rs 13000 crore have been lent for raising the CA stores across J&K and with the help of NABARD it could be taken to next level.

Regional Director of RBI appeciated the paper being all inclusive saying that this exercise can be used to plan better by our government and public institutions. He said times have changed so we all should make changes individually and collectively for welfare of the society. He said that Farmer Produce Organizations (FPOs) are a brilliant idea of doubling the farmers income. He pushed for enhancing their capacity to realise their potential fully.

The Focus paper presented the potential linked credit estimates for various sub-sectors of priority sector which inter alia included Rs 20697.23 crore for agriculture and Rs 10817.82 crore for MSME segment for the year 2021-22.

Presentations on NABARD initiatives in J&K reflecting impact of various projects was given by DGM, NABARD while representatives of NGOs presented impact of NABARD aided FPOs in both the divisions of J&K.

Besides, various products of NABARD supported FPOs, OFPOs, SHGs were also demonstrated at the venue including handicraft and handloom products from Rural Haats supported by NABARD.