Signalling a major boost to the Uttar Pradesh farm sector, the aggregate credit potential in the agricultural and allied sectors has been estimated at over Rs 2.37 trillion for 2018-19.
In its latest UP State Focus Paper, National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has projected the rural credit potential for the next fiscal to expand by almost 15% to Rs 2,37,801 crore. For the current fiscal 2017-18, the agro credit potential for the state was estimated at Rs 2.07 trillion (See Table).
The credit flow to the UP farm sector would include all the agricultural and allied segments, including crop production, animal husbandry, fisheries, water resources, plantation and horticulture, rural infrastructure, renewable energy, rural housing, export and education etc.
After coming to power in March 2017, the incumbent Yogi Adityanath government has underscored its top priority for the agricultural sector. Last year, it had waived crop loans for an estimated 8.5 million small and marginal farmers totalling about Rs 360 billion to arrest farm distress and keep farmers in good humour.
Meanwhile, NABARD has flagged ‘Per Drop More Crop’ theme for UP to achieve its objective of doubling the farmers’ income over the next 4-5 years and conserving the water resources for sustainable agricultural growth.
UP finance minister Rajesh Agrawal claimed the state government was receptive to bringing in requisite changes in the statutory ecosystem for the prosperity of farmers.
Meanwhile, NABARD chief general manager A K Panda has urged the Adityanath government to amend the APMC Act and liberalising the land lease structure for reforming the state farm sector and boosting rural incomes through structural changes.
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) regional director Ajay Kumar underlined the need for quick and hassle free credit dispensing mechanism for ushering in a robust rural credit growth, apart from the imperative of capital formation in the state agricultural space.
In essence, the State Focus Paper contains the projected outlay for next fiscal and entails the aggregate of credit potential under different sectors of economy, both farm and non-farm, the status of infrastructure under each sector/sub sector and critical gaps in different districts.
Under RBI guidelines, this is part of the decentralised credit planning undertaken by NABARD through consultative process to estimate credit potential in various sectors of economy. Depending upon this NABARD roadmap, the commercial banks prepare Annual Credit Plan (ACP) for UP, fixing individual bank targets under the Lead Bank Scheme.