In a major boost to the rural economy in Uttar Pradesh, crop loans worth almost Rs 32,000 crore were distributed to farmers till December 2013.
The loans were primarily disbursed for the purchase of seed, fertiliser, pesticides, farm implements and machinery seeking to augment farm income and make farming more lucrative.
Besides, the state agriculture department had facilitated distribution of about 2.76 million Kisan Credit Cards (KCC) in UP so far.
The KCCs are distributed by commercial banks to farmers, who use it for making farm related procurements during the rabi and kharif sowing seasons.
During 2012-13, the state also achieved the highest crop loan distribution figure of over Rs 38,000 crore against the target of Rs 42,000 crore.
Under the New Agriculture Policy 2013, the state is targeting 5.1 per cent growth rate in agriculture during the current 12th Plan (2012-17).
As per National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), the total advances by commercial, cooperative and regional rural banks (RRB) to agricultural and allied sectors in UP stood at Rs 79,000 crore till September 2013.
During 2011-12, 2012-13 and 2013-14, the size of the annual credit plan prepared by NABARD had stood at Rs 64,531 crore, Rs 79,988 crore and Rs 1,01,315 crore respectively. This shows a steady and marked increase in credit flow to the rural sector.
NABARD has also recommended for a separate state agriculture budget for giving maximum focus on the rural sector.
UP is a leading producer of food grain, potato, milk, sugarcane, paddy, wheat, mustard, groundnut, gram, pea and lentil. Industry has been demanding improvement in farm infrastructure viz. post harvest management and food processing industries to cut wastage and increase farm income.