NABARD Projects Credit Target of Rs 2.47 Lakh Crore for Priority Sector Lending in West Bengal in 2022-23 Informs CGM, NABARD

Out of Total Estimated Credit Potential of Rs 2.47 Lakh Crore for Priority Sector, Share of Agriculture Sector is 39.32%

CGM, NABARD Harps on Collectivisation of agricultural Produce through FPOs to Leverage Economies of Scale

NABARD projects a credit target of Rs. 2.47 lakh crore for the priority sector lending in West Bengal State during 2022-23. This was informed by Dr. A R Khan, Chief General Manager (CGM) of NABARD, West Bengal Regional Office, Kolkata during the State Credit Seminar organised by the Bank today in the city. Dr Khan also stated that out of the total estimated credit potential of Rs. 2.47 lakh crore in the State for the year 2022-23 under the Priority Sector, the share of agriculture sector including agri- infrastructure and ancillary activities is 39.32%; MSME sector 44.56%; SHG-JLG 7.60%, housing sector 4.71%; education loans 1.65%; social infrastructure sector 1.03%; and the remaining 1.13% constitute export credit and renewable energy.

This apart, Crop loan constitutes 64.85% of the total agriculture credit and 25.50% of the total priority sector credit potential. Allied agriculture, agri-infrastructure and agri- ancillary constitute 21.64%, 6.72% and 6.77% of agriculture credit and 8.51%, 2.64% and 2.66% of total credit potential respectively. The share of the agriculture term loan to farm credit is 35.14%.

According to the NABARD, CGM small holder farmers, representing 96% of the total farming community in West Bengal, are faced with challenges of low investment, poor productivity, inadequate postharvest facilities and weak market orientation coupled with adverse impact of climate change. In this scenario, collectivization of agricultural produce through Farmers’ Producer Organizations (FPOs) is imperative to leverage the economies of scale by conferring greater bargaining power, better market and price discovery, access to credit and insurance etc. He added that some of the major initiatives like creation of Agriculture Infrastructure Fund, Animal Husbandry, Dairy, Fisheries Infrastructure schemes, formalization of micro food processing units, incentivizing MSMEs, production of ethanol and renewal energy, etc., could be strategically leveraged for accelerating growth in investment credit in the State. He informed that while estimating credit potentials, these developments have been factored in and the banks will certainly take necessary measures to achieve these credit projections.

It is to be mentioned that special thrust in the credit projections has been given on Capital Formation in Agriculture and Allied Activities, sustaining and increasing productivity in agriculture, facilitating Food and Agro Processing activities, MSME and Informal Credit Delivery Systems (SHGs/JLGs) keeping in view the National/ State Govt. priorities for accelerating/ sustaining the agricultural growth and enhancing Farmers’ Income by creating market-led farm enterprises and job opportunities at local level

The Chief Secretary, West Bengal Shri Hari Krishna Dwivedi who graced the programme as the Chief Guest released the State Focus Paper: 2022-23 highlighting the Credit Potentials and identifying the critical infrastructure gaps, other linkage support and key policy issues requiring appropriate interventions from various stakeholders for the holistic development of agricultural and rural economy of West Bengal in presence of senior officials of the State Govt., NABARD, banks and other stakeholders.

Dr. M.V. Rao, ACS, Cooperation, Dr. Manoj Pant, Principal Secretary, Finance Dept., GoWB, Shri R. Kesavan, Regional Director, RBI, Kolkata, Shri Navin Dash, CGM, PNB SLBC convenor, Smt. Ruma Dey, CGM, SBI and other officials were present in the seminar. Besides, Senior Officials of the State Govt., Zonal / Regional Heads of Commercial Banks, MDs of Cooperative Banks, Chairman of RRBs, VCs of Agri Universities, District Magistrates, District Development Managers of NABARD, Lead District Managers and other stakeholders joined the seminar through video-conferencing due to the COVID protocols.