Pune: The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) extended a record support of Rs 6,023.18 crore for agriculture and rural development in Maharashtra during 2011-12, up 71 percent from Rs 3,532.49 in the previous year.
The refinance institution provided Rs 4,035.50 crore support to cooperative banks and gramin banks in the state to disburse crop loans to farmers, a growth of 79 per cent from previous year (2010-11), according to a report released by the nodal agriculture bank's Maharashtra office here.
A sum of Rs 1,777.84 crore was advanced by Nabard to support creation of rural infrastructure like roads and bridges, irrigation projects and drinking water, besides new projects like rural warehousing, waste water management, public health and anganwadi centres. This was 58 per cent more than in 2010-11.
"For the first time, a special allocation of Rs 2,000 crore was made to Nabard for warehouse financing under RIDF by the Finance Minister in the Union Budget for 2011-12. At the national level, NABARD achieved 100 percent utilisation of the fund during the year, by sanctioning warehousing projects to the state governments and private sector agencies through banks," it said.
Maharashtra stood at the top amongst all the states with a sanction of loan of Rs 460 crore (31 percent of all India total) under RIDF, it added.
"NABARD also provided support through various banks to the extent of Rs 50 crore under this Special Warehousing Refinance Scheme. This is expected to create around 7.65 lakh tonnes of warehousing infrastructure, particularly for storage of food grains in the state and would thereby help farmers avoid distress sale of their produce," the report, released by Chief General Manager M V Ashok said.
An initiative to support producers' organisation through credit and credit-plus activities was also launched by Nabard.
During the year, an amount of Rs 39.33 lakhs was sanctioned to Devanagri Producers Company, promoted by a Non- Governmental Oragnisation Yuva Mitra, for setting up Agrimall at Sinnar in Nasik district.
Proposals have been received from 25 other producers' organisations, formed under the Companies Act as well as the Cooperative Societies Act, and are under "active consideration," the Nabard report said.
To further the cause of scarce natural resources, seven new projects with a commitment of Rs 27.46 crore were sanctioned for implementation by NGOs under the Umbrella Project for Natural Resources Management (UPNRM).
Further to create much-needed infrastructure with private sector involvement and to promote livelihood opportunities in rural areas, Nabard disbursed an amount of Rs 92.74 crore subsidy to various banks on behalf of beneficiaries under the various Government of India Subsidy Schemes.
Under the SHG -- Bank Linkage Programme spearheaded by Nabard -- around 84,000 Self Help Groups (SHGs) were formed and savings-linked during the reporting year.
Of these, around 48,000 SHGs were also credit linked. Cumulatively 5,23,700 SHGs in the state have been disbursed Rs 1,624.30 crore till March 31, 2012.
Besides this, various promotional and developmental projects were sanctioned to NGOs and other agencies for formation and nurturing of SHGs, their training and capacity building as well as promoting of their products, it said.
During the year, 2,409 Farmers' Clubs were launched by different agencies with Nabard support, taking the total number of such clubs to around 8,253.
A project was sanctioned to Reuters Market Light (RML) for providing agriculture related advisories through SMS to members of the farmers clubs.
A unique rural sanitation project with loan amount of Rs 100 crore was sanctioned to an NGO to install 1,000 rural sanitation units in three districts of Vidarbha region, the report added.
First Published: Saturday, April 28, 2012, 10:37