Bhubaneswar: The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has disbursed Rs 31,786 crore in Odisha during the financial year 2021-22, recording an increase of 40% over the preceding year 2020-21.
The financial support comprised of Rs 14,077 crore to banks for lending towards crop loans as well as term loans in the State and Rs 3031 crore to the State Government under Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) for creating infrastructure in rural areas.
The NABARD has disbursed Rs 14,485 crore for supporting paddy procurement operations in the State during the year 2021-22.
To aid the economic revival and address liquidity problems faced by banks due to the pandemic, the NABARD has also provided special liquidity facility (SLF) of Rs 1250 crore.
During FY-2021-22, NABARD sanctioned fresh RIDF assistance of Rs 4013 crore for construction of 243 new rural roads, 263 bridges, 1 medium irrigation project, 9836 minor irrigation projects, 6 flood protection and 9 rural drinking water projects in the State.
The sanction in the year 2021-22 was higher by 24% as compared to that of 2020-21. The drinking water projects are expected to provide clean and safe drinking water to 17 lakh rural population across the State. The support under RIDF to Odisha is the highest in the country.
Further, the NABARD extended grant assistance of Rs 70 crore to support various promotional initiatives during FY 2021-22. Farm sector development initiatives such as Tribal Development, Watershed Development, Promotion of Farmer Producer Organisations (FPO), Climate Change and Promotion of Rural Innovations, etc. aiming at developing and demonstrating scalable models suiting the local conditions.
NABARD is implementing 69 tribal development projects supporting horticulture-based livelihoods in 46,000 acres benefitting more than 50,000 tribal families in 24 districts of Odisha, at present.
During the Financial Year 2021-22, six new WADI projects and five new watershed projects were sanctioned involving a commitment of Rs 53.88 crore.
So far, NABARD has promoted 325 FPOs, which are benefitting about 1.30 lakh farmers. In order to give a fillip to the movement of FPOs in the State, NABARD conducted a month-long campaign called “FPO Abhiyan”.
Promotional support from NABARD for Rural non-farm sector included formation of five new Off-Farm Producer Organizations (OFPOs) in the area of Handloom and Handicrafts development.
While FPOs support the requirements of farmers, OFPOs are being formed for integrated development of rural craftsmen and weavers.
Further, skill training and livelihood promotion support to SHG women were continued. In order to improve marketing avenues for rural products, NABARD supported infrastructure in form of Rural Haats, sales outlets for SHG products, Gramin Dukaan, etc, apart from supporting for participation in exhibitions etc.
Grant support of Rs 34.14 crore was provided to banks from Financial Inclusion Fund to expand the banking touch points in rural areas and for creating awareness on financial inclusion.
With a view to enhance the credit flow to Agriculture and other rural sectors, NABARD has projected a potential of Rs 1,34,665 crore for priority sector lending by banks in the current financial year 2022-23, including Rs 52,050 crore under Agriculture.
In all it was a very eventful year for developmental activities of NABARD in Odisha, despite the impact of COVID. NABARD in the current year is committed to increase its support to the State Government for creation of more rural infrastructure and shall focus on Integrated Development of Rural Livelihoods on a large scale in Odisha.