VELLORE: The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) is planning to promote 200 farmer-producer companies this year to encourage farmers to reach consumers directly. The chief general manager of NABARD, K V Rao, said this while inaugurating a one-day Farm-Expo on VIT university campus on Saturday, jointly organized by the VIT, NABARD and the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University.
Speaking on the occasion, Rao said that there was a need to organise farmers to become commercially oriented and enterprising. The plan envisages the establishment of farmer-producer companies with the help of federation of farmer clubs and SHG network. NABARD will extend credit facilities through banks for these companies to market farm-produce.
He said that Area Development schemes have also been developed that will enable farmers to grow a variety of crops with technical input from Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU)and Krishi Vigyan Kendras. Various schemes have also been initiated to improve and modernize farming activities. “We are also planning to establish around 40,000 joint liability groups of farmers this year under the new schemes announced by the government of India to avail bank loans in a big way,” he added.
VIT chancellor, G Viswanathan, in his presidential address underlined the need for the linking of all southern rivers for the benefit of the farming community of the southern states.
“We need to conserve water as a national priority as most parts of the country especially Tamil Nadu was facing water shortage,” he said, adding, “from 11 percent water shortage in 2011, it has increased to 19 percent in TN according to reports.”
“If we can clean up the existing water bodies in the state, we can improve the storage by 40,650 million cubic meter!” he pointed out.
Dr H Philp, Director of Extension Education attached to TNAU said that the farm research institutions in the state were working towards achieving the chief minister’s agenda of ‘doubling farm production while tripling income’.