Jammu- Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Thursday unveiled Rs. 34,829 crore potential linked credit plan of National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) for the Union Territory aimed to bridge gaps in rural infrastructure and strengthen the co-operative credit systems to transform the agricultural economy.
The credit plan was announced at the 'UT Credit and Development Seminar' organized by NABARD in Jammu for presenting the ‘UT Focus Paper 2022-23' for J&K, covering physical and financial potential under Agriculture & Allied activities and other priority sectors including the off-farm sector activities in the UT, an official spokesperson said.
Speaking on the occasion, he said, the LG underlined the need to focus on the development of rural economy for unlocking its full potential by filling the gaps vis-à-vis infrastructure, human resources and financing.
“Our next big growth story is rural J&K, and we must ensure that rural economy actively participates in this growth process. We need inter-sectoral coordination to improve infrastructure, empowerment of women & employment generation and NABARD has a vital role to play in this endeavour,” Sinha said.
According to the spokesperson, it was informed that in J&K, NABARD has been a vital driver of the rural economy by meeting the basic needs of infrastructure under the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund, where under 4178 projects have been completed in the last 26 years at a cost of Rs 8457 crores, focusing mainly on irrigation and rural connectivity.
Highlighting that Agriculture & Allied sector sustains over 70% of our population, he said, the LG also announced that NABARD and J&K's Agriculture Department have jointly planned a development package of Rs 25,991 crore to improve agricultural inputs, farmers' income through easy availability of credit, technical up-gradation of agriculture and entire agriculture & horticulture production chain.
The spokesperson said that the LG noted that this comprehensive plan was in line with the vision of the Prime Minister to double the farmers’ income.
“In J&K, 36 Farmer Producer Organizations have been formed by NABARD which are benefiting about 6,000 farmers and 26 more such organizations will be formed in this financial year, decisively advancing the development of a strong base of modern agriculture and horticulture in the UT,” Sinha said.
The LG, as per the spokesperson, expressed hope that NABARD will work closely with the UT administration in bringing self-reliance and efficiency in the Agriculture & allied sector. Sinha, he said, noted that this year, the UT’s Agriculture department is distributing new high yield variety of seeds to about 9 lakh farmers, besides targeting to link more than 33,000 farmers with farm mechanization.
“On the occasion, the Lt Governor appreciated the role of NABARD in organizing and nurturing Self Help Groups engaged in creating employment opportunities and empowering women and marginalized sections of the rural population,” he added.
According to the spokesperson, the LG also urged the officials of NABARD to collaborate with Jammu Kashmir Rural Livelihood Mission, and in a planned manner, devise the expansion of already established 56,000 Self Help Groups under its UMEED programme, which presently connects around five lakh women. Sinha, he said, also asserted the expansion will open up new horizons for them and in turn boost their economic potential.
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