Mein discusses agricultural policies with NABARD

MUMBAI, Jun 17: Arunachal Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein held discussions with the heads of various policy and business departments of the National Bank for Agriculture & Rural Development (NABARD) at its head office here in Maharashtra on Monday.
Saying that a large section of the rural population of Arunachal depends on the agriculture and allied sectors for their livelihood, Mein said “this sector needs rejuvenation, and the NABARD can play a vital role.”
He said banking infrastructure needs to be strengthened, especially
in the rural areas, “for larger credit absorption and efficient delivery to improve the financial health of the rural people.”
Taking note of the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) issues in the state, the DCM advocated developing a hybrid fund by combining the RIDF and the NABARD Infrastructure Development Assistance, as has also been suggested by the NABARD officials, since doing so would provide lower cost and longer gestation period without affecting the borrowing power of the state.
Mein stressed on forming farmers-producers organizations (FPO) and handholding them “to help farmers in the state, as they will be able to produce scientifically as well as market their produce at remunerative prices.”
“FPOs, especially for citronella, are highly essential in the state,” he said.
Seeking to make this year’s state budget more inclusive and broad-based, Mein sought inputs from the NABARD officials on major priority areas in the field of agriculture and allied activities that need focus and budgetary support from the state government.
Also attending the meeting, MLA Zingnu Namchoom emphasized the need for establishing a fishery institute in the state, and sought the NABARD’s guidance and support for the purpose.
He also said Arunachal needs to be supported for water supply projects under the RIDF.
NABARD GM Gyanendra Mani informed Mein and Namchoom that a recommendation for organizing a state conclave on agriculture and allied sectors in May has already been brought out, and road maps for various agriculture and allied activities have been prepared.
Mani, who is also a former OIC of the NABARD’s Arunachal regional office, suggested reviving cooperative banks and rural banks in the state, “so that they become eligible for refinancing from the NABARD.”
He said the state government needs to help banks in the state in recovering their dues by forming committees under the chairmanship of the deputy commissioners at the district level.
“The state government should provide budgetary support for the formation of at least 50 FPOs, and modernization of at least seven to eight APMCs to make them eligible for e-NAM boarding, infrastructure support to the veterinary department for vet hospitals, dairy processing sericulture promotion, cold water fisheries, promotion of medicinal and aromatic plants, etc,” Mani said.
He also suggested that the performance of the KVKs be reviewed “with a view to engage them into various developmental activities related to agriculture and allied sectors.” (DCMO)