Shimla: NABARD, the apex rural banker, disbursed a record Rs 321 crore crop loans to farmers in Himachal in 2011-12 through the refinance facility provided to cooperative and regional rural banks.
Crop loans registered an growth of 62 % over the previous year and touched an all time high,” said Naresh Gupta, CGM of NABARD.
In the financial year, 555 new farmers clubs were formed taking the cumulative number in the state to 2263. A free SMS based weather and extensions service was extended to 400 farmers clubs and 27 capacity building programs including exposure visits about adoption of technology for 680 farmers was conducted,” he said.
For construction of rural infrastructure, the bank also provided Rs 300 crore to the state government.
Another Rs 423.69 Cr was approved for construction of 95 roads with a length of 605 Kms, 14 bridges, 75 rural drinking water schemes benefiting 3.21 lakh people and 41 lift or flow irrigation schemes covering 4700 hectares.
NABARD that is also implementing subsidy schemes for the central government in 2011-12 did release Rs 991 crore subsidy to 2417 units under Dairy Entrepreneurship Development Scheme – popularly known as Doodh Ganga Scheme.
Assistance of Rs 44.02 lakh was provided to NGOs, banks, farmers clubs and others towards promotion and credit linkage of Self Help Groups (SHGs). During the year 4095 SHGs have been savings linked and 655 were credit linked.
A total of 60564 SHGs have been formed in the state and 54856 are credit linked, said the banker.
To expand financial inclusion coverage, the bank approved Rs 86.25 lakhs for Himachal Gramin Bank, Mandi to issue of 69000 Smart Cards.
NABARD has been implementing 5 watershed development programmes at Dhundan, Saryanj Sarma, Daseran & Ambeda Dheraj and Sidhchaler in Solan and Una districts.
Currently they collectively cover 25 villages, 1044 hectares area and 698 families but once fully implemented these watersheds will cover an area of about 5000 hectares in which 4173 families reside.