The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development has taken up 14 projects in the agriculture sector in the Union territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands with a total refinance of over Rs 120 crore, a senior NABARD official said.
General Manager, NABARD, V Mashar told PTI that the the bank is also promoting integrated farming in the islands and has been focusing on skill development as another thrust sector.
Considering the limited land for agriculture purpose in the islands, developing agriculture sector has emerged as a big challenge, he said.
Mashar said NABARD has taken up as many as 14 projects in the agriculture sector with a total refinance of over Rs 120 crore. The bank is also promoting integrated farming in the islands and has been focusing on skill development as another thrust sector.
He said the NABARD regional office has a credit plan of about Rs 600 crore for the financial year 2019-2020 in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Mashar claimed that NABARD has been instrumental in credit linking of SHGs with the larger objective of financial empowerment of rural women.
In the Islands, out of over 5000 Self Help Groups, over 3000 Self Help Groups were credit-linked with credit outstanding of over Rs 1000 crore, the NABARD official said.
These SHGs has been doing remarkably well in different fields and has to its credit a slew of success stories, he said.
In the off-farm sector also, NABARD has taken up several initiatives. The bank has been conducting skill development training programmes in different trades in association with NGOs such as beauty and spa, hospitality sector, tailoring and computer software.
Trades like the hospitality sector has immense demand and NABARD has identified such sector and has been conducting training programme in such sectors.
Besides, the bank has been conducting training programmes on tailoring, beautician trades in different places in the islands receiving massive response from the youth.
In Hut Bay, NABARD has identified 15 fishermen who will be provided two-wheelers so that they can sell their fish products door to door, he said.
NABARD is also working with the Coir Board in the coir sector. Recently, the bank in association with Krishi Vigyan Kendra has set up a hatchery unit at Bakultala at a cost of Rs 3 lakh.
He claimed that this hatchery unit has become popular among the poultry farmers and taking inspiration, some private farmers also installed private hatchery unit.
Considering the success of the hatchery unit, NABARD has also plan to install 10 more hatchery units in different places in the islands.
In addition to this, NABARD will be organizing a workshop on Climate Change, he added.
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