October 15, 2016
The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), which has successfully completed the digitisation of SHGs in two districts under SHG Bank Linkage Programme, has extended to cover another 22 districts in the country. This is expected to be completed by this fiscal, its Chairman, Harsh Kumar Bhanwala, said today.
NABARD had launched the SHG-Bank Linkage Programme which is the largest Microfinance Programme in the World, involving 7.9 million SHG and selected Ramgarh district in Jharkhand and Dhule district in Maharashtra as pilot project for digitisation, Bhanwala said.
Based on the encouraging results, the pilot project was extended to cover another 22 districts across the country during 2016–17 and would be completed by the fiscal and will further cover more districts, Bhanwala said in his acceptance speech after receiving honorary degree of Doctor of Science at the 37th Convocation of Tamil Nadu Agricultural University here.
Stating that NABARD – TNAU linkage has contributed to the development of agricultural education infrastructure and strengthening research activities, he said that if Tamil Nadu is in the forefront in Agriculture in our country, the contributions by the Agricultural Scientists and farmers of the State were substantial.
Strengthening agricultural sector was crucial for poverty alleviation, ensuring food security, increasing employment opportunities, and enhancing rural incomes and experience indicates that an one per cent growth in agriculture is at least two to three times more effective in reducing poverty than the same growth emanating from non-agriculture sectors Bhanawala said.
The credit flow to agriculture reached Rs.8.77 lakh crores as on 31 March 2016, out of which crop loans accounted for Rs.7.05 lakh crores. The ratio of agricultural credit to agricultural GDP has increased from 10 per cent in 1999-2000 to around 42 per cent by the end of 2015-16.
In the last more than 34 years of its existence, NABARD has emerged as the largest Development Financial Institution in the country playing a catalytic role in agriculture and rural development with a view to attaining sustainable rural prosperity.
Declaring the institution of endowments, Tamil Nadu Agriculture Minister, R. Doraikannu said that the AIADMK government headed by Jayalalithaa had allotted Rs.1,429 crores for agriculture education and research during 2011-16. The State has received three Krishi Karman award in the last five years, he said.
Dr. Digvir S Jayas, Vice-President, Research and International, University of Manitoba, Canada was also conferred with Honorary degree of doctor of Science on the occasion.
In his convocation address, Dr. G.N. Mahesan, Vice-Chancellor, Institute of Advanced Research, Gandhinagar, Gujarat said that the agriculture students and scientists have a greater role to play in safeguarding the livelihood and well being of more than 60 per cent of population, who depended on agriculture.
Tamil Nadu Governor, Ch. Vidyasagar Rao presided over the convocation, in which nearly 600 students received the degrees and awards.