On July 3, the Government of Odisha launched 1st of its kind scheme, ‘Balaram’ to provide agricultural credit of Rs 1,040 crore to landless farmers facing hardships during COVID 19.The Scheme is designed in collaboration with National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD).
- Two state-run organisations – the Institute on Management of Agricultural Extension and the Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA) – will be the nodal agencies at the state and district levels respectively for implementation of the scheme.
- In the next two years around seven lakh cultivators will be benefitted by ‘Balaram’.
- The beneficiaries decision was taken during a high-level meeting presided over by chief secretary A K Tripathy.
- The farmers, who didn’t avail farm credit earlier, will get loans through Joint Liability Groups (JLG) which act as ‘social collateral’.
- The banking sector will be mobilised through the State Level Bankers Committee (SLBC) for extending credit support to farmers and sharecroppers who don’t get loans due to lack of resources.
- The ‘Krushak Sathis’ and village agricultural workers will be incentivised through ATMA for repayment of FLGs by linking them to banks and facilitating loan repayments.
- Around 7000 branches of different banks and primary Agricultural Cooperative societies (PACS) in rural and semi urban areas.
- Each lender will finance a minimum of 10 JLGs per year.
- A JLG consists of five members and a group will get 1.6 lakhs.
- 1.40 lakh JLGs will cover seven lakh landless cultivators in two years.
- The field level agricultural workers will get a credit of Rs 1,040 crore under ‘Balaram’.
Chief Minister: Naveen Patnaik
Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra
Chairman: G R Chintala