Development finance institution NABARD has projected a credit requirement of Rs 2.5 lakh crore during 2021-22 fiscal under priority sector lending in the state. This represents an overall increase of about nine per cent over the projections for 2020-21. Of the aggregate credit potential, the share of crop loan is pegged at Rs 98,400 crore (39% of total) and agriculture term loan at Rs 46,800 crore (19%).

This was stated by Dr Rajiv Siwach, CGM, NABARD, during the state credit seminar for the next fiscal here today.

Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal, the chief guest, released the State Focus Paper for 2021-22. The focus paper — Collectivisation of agricultural produce for enhancing farmers’ income — is aimed at improving farm economy through promotion of farmer producers’ organisation to take benefit of economies of scale.

Highlighting concern about stagnation in agriculture productivity and depleting water tables, Dr Siwach advocated incentive-based policy initiatives by state government for diversification.

The Finance Minister reminded the stakeholders of “farz” (responsibility) with “fiqr” (sincerity) towards the future of the country and eradication of ills such as poverty. He called upon the people of the state to once again lead the country as they always have.

Referring to the issue of crop diversification, the minister called for an MSP component for backing farmers who shunned stubble burning and mobilise projects for harvesting biofuels rather than implementing forceful policies. He outlined the potential of goat sector and the promise of Punjab in being the goat state of the country.

Acknowledging the resource constraint induced by the pandemic, he underlined the importance for readiness to counter such pandemics in the future. Badal called out NABARD to organise more such seminars focused on startups and FPOs.

Source: 21 January, 2021, The Tribune