Patna: Efforts are on to promote loan off-take by the agriculture sector in the state.
As part of this, special loan camps were organised in all 534 blocks of the state on Thursday and agriculture minister Prem Kumar himself took part in one of these camps at Pandaul block of Madhubani district.
Addressing farmers on the occasion, the agriculture minister urged them to avail of the benefits of farming loan on which special subsidy is given by the Centre as well as the state government.
According to this scheme, the Centre gives 3 per cent subsidy for timely payment of agriculture loan and an additional 1 per cent subsidy so that farmers end up paying just three per cent interest on farming loan.
Prem also urged farmers to deposit loan applications in large numbers so that they can get the loans at the earliest and use the funds for their agriculture related works.
The loan off-take by the agriculture sector in Bihar has not been very impressive. The annual credit plan for 2017-18 had set a target of disbursing Rs 49,000 crore among farmers but only Rs 42,161 crore worth of loans were disbursed.
For 2018-19, the annual target is Rs 60,000 crore, against which farmers had procured just Rs 8,755 crore in the first quarter (April-June).
Giving reasons for poor off-take of loan, an official in the state level bankers’ committee told The Telegraph: “The average size of farm holding is very small in Bihar. Hence farmers generally take small loans which make it tough for the bankers to achieve the target.”
He said that from the current fiscal, a special effort was being made to promote loan disbursement among farmers who were engaged in allied activities like dairy and fisheries among others and the outcome of these efforts were likely to become visible from the second quarter.
Even the special camp organised by the agriculture department laid emphasis on it and farmers engaged in allied activities too were encouraged to take loans and use the benefit of subsidy scheme meant for them.
Courtesy: The Telegraph