78cr Nabard grant for Nagaland rural projects

Kohima, May 18 (The Telegraph): The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) has sanctioned financial assistance of Rs 78.57 crore to the state to support 37 new rural infrastructure projects.
Nabard general manager, Nagaland, U.S. Saha, said the money has been granted under Rural Infrastructure Development Fund to set up cattle breeding farms, soil conservation projects, construction of rural bridges, infrastructure for rubber plantation and mini hydro power projects. He said the bank has disbursed loans of Rs 3,731 lakh. The total financial assistance sanctioned to the state under the fund was Rs 707.1 core and the disbursement amount was Rs 29,303 lakh as on March 31, 2011.
Nabard has provided refinance of Rs 857 lakh with relaxed norms to banks in Nagaland in 2010-11 to boost the economic activities, Saha said. “This assistance includes concessional refinance of Rs 242 lakh to banks with the Centre subvention for providing short-term loans at lower interest rate to borrowers for agricultural operation,” he added.
Saha said Nabard has been implementing a number of Centre-sponsored credit-linked subsidy-oriented schemes, including the schemes under the animal husbandry sector. During 2010-11, Nabard regional office of Nagaland had undertaken promotional initiatives for sanctioning 159 schemes and releasing a subsidy of Rs 61.82 lakh to banks under the newly introduced piggery development scheme of the Centre. “It was the highest achievement in the country,” he said.
Nabard is also embarking upon several unique promotional interventions in Nagaland to support livelihood and empowerment for villagers, especially women, to create new entrepreneurship and improve their access to markets. Nabard had promoted many projects focusing on overall economic development of rural people of Nagaland. As on March 31, 2011, Nabard has sanctioned 29 projects with a grant commitment at Rs 13.62 crore in the state. Nabard also facilitates formation of farmers’ clubs to encourage integrated rural development through people’s participation, said Saha.
In 2010-11, 78 farmers’ clubs were formed and supported in the state with the aim to improve their technical, credit, marketing and organisational skills for providing advisory support to local people for better earning, help in enhancing credit flow and recovery of loans. Today, there are as many as 126 farmers’ clubs. Nabard has sanctioned a pilot project on micro-financing as collaborative programme with Nagaland in association with SBI and Nagaland State Co-operative Bank, involving 107 village development boards of Longleng and Kiphire districts. It had released Rs 81.3 lakh in 2010-11, out of the total commitment of Rs 120 lakh. Financial literacy programmes and meet were also organised in 2010-11, Saha said.
Nabard has also initiated a large number of promotional activities for developing 3,525 micro-entrepreneurship and self-help groups as on March 31, 2011. Nabard has promoted 457 quality self-help groups for formation, credit linkage and extending financial assistance through NGOs for hand holding support and capacity building of members of such groups.
Around 74 self-help groups were credit linked for loans for various economic activities. A revolving fund assistance of Rs 17.80 lakh was extended to two NGOs for financing 603 groups. Around 1,249 beneficiaries were trained for micro-entrepreneur development in 2010-11 with funding of Rs 17.92 lakh.
It also extended funding support to train 224 people to upgrade skills of rural artisans, women and farmers and help them take up various economic activities for livelihood support such as piggery, food processing, fishery, poultry, mithun-rearing. It also supported 750 families with grant amounting Rs 112.65 lakh for apiculture and honey processing.
Nabard had taken up two pilot projects with new technological package, known as system of rice intensification in Tuensang and Peren districts for enhancing yield and increasing income of farmers. Approximately 30 per cent yield increase was achieved over the existing methods of cultivation of paddy. Saha said in view of creating rural marketing infrastructure, Nabard sanctioned 10 rural haat projects in 6 districts with commitment of Rs 50 lakh.
The initiatives would benefit a large number of rural farmers and artisans for selling their products nearer their villages. Nabard has initiated the process for implementation of the Revival Package of the Centre for strengthening the Nagaland State Co-operative Bank and its affiliated credit societies with the aim to create a strong and vibrant Nagaland. Similar package is also in implementation for strengthening of Nagaland Rural Bank. “The initiatives aim for meeting the credit needs of the rural people of Nagaland,” the general manager said.