About Us

Off Farm Development Department

1. Genesis

Promotion of Off Farm Sector was enshrined in the mission statement of NABARD at the time of its inception. The sector assumes significance in the context of the pressing need for reducing rural India’s dependence on agriculture income by encouraging alternate livelihood options. Development of this sector also helps in mitigating the need for migration of small and marginal farmers and agricultural labour to urban areas in search of livelihood opportunities due to unemployment, disguised employment and distress in the agriculture sector.

OFDD has evolved several promotional schemes for development of the off-farm sector and has been making constant efforts to broad base, refine and rationalise its schemes in response to the need at the field level.

The focus has been on programmes that enable development of skills, promote avenues for market opportunities, foster collectives of producers of small, cottage and village industries, handloom, handicrafts and other rural crafts and service sector in rural areas.

2. Core Functions of the Department

  • i. To provide solutions for promotion of activities generating/ enhancing livelihoods under the rural off-farm sector.
  • ii. While the HO of NABARD designs schemes, approves the budgets, provide guidance to ROs, undertakes monitoring etc, most of the projects are implemented through the Regional Offices of NABARD.
  • iii. To provide financial support as grant depending on the nature of the project, activities within the project, stakeholders involved, etc.
  • iv. To support marketing activities of rural artisans by extending grant assistance for rural haats, rural marts, exhibitions and melas.
  • v. To provide financial support to eligible institutions including government agencies, CSR entities, NSDC affiliated training institutes, Skill Development Council, RUDSETIs/ RSETIs, NGOs, etc. whose objectives/activities are catering to the development of off-farm sector as per the guidelines approved by NABARD for undertaking off-farm sector promotional interventions.
  • vi. To promote skill development by extending grant support to rural training institutions like Rural Development and Self Employment Training Institutes (RUDSETIs)/ Rural Self Employment Training Institutes (RSETIs), NSDC affiliated Institutes, NGOs having training establishments, Government agencies, Corporate Partners, etc.
  • vii. To support rural artisans for formation of Off-farm Producer Organizations (OFPOs) in clusters to take up collective business activities, build capacity and develop market linkages.
  • viii. To support artisans for registration of their products under Geographical Indication which confers legal protection, boosts exports and promotes economic prosperity of the producers.
  • ix. To support innovations in Off-farm Sector through Rural Business Incubation Centres, DPR based projects, etc.

3. Major achievements of the Department at National Level

Skill Development Initiatives of NABARD

In tune with Govt. of India’s goal, NABARD has developed a structured approach for addressing the skill gap in rural India through demand and outcome-based programmes through multiple stakeholders in skill development ecosystem leading to wage/ self-employment. NABARD has developed a digital platform “NABSKILL” (www.nabskillnabard.org) enabling complete digitisation of skill interventions.

During 2021-22, NABARD had sanctioned support for training 15960 rural youth through 393 programmes with grant assistance of Rs.11.84 crore by gainfully engaging rural youth both in wage as well as self employment.

Off Farm Producer Organisation (OFPO)

Off-farm Producer Organisations (OFPOs) are formal rural entity formed by artisans, weavers, craftsmen etc., to promote rural enterprises, generate local employment through value addition, design innovation and development, processing, brand-building, creation of storage and logistics infrastructure, aggregation, mechanisation and development of technology, develop strong forward and backward linkages, ensure better income realisation, profit distribution, which ultimately brings in sustainable and inclusive development through collectivisation and formalisation.

During 2021-22, 18 OFPOs covering around 4905 artisans and weavers have been supported with grant assistance of Rs.12.93 crore across 11 States.

Promotion of GI Products

Geographical Indications (GI) is an Intellectual Property Right that identifies goods originating from a specific geographical location and having distinct nature, quality and characteristics linked to that location. A GI right allows its holder to prevent its use by a third party whose product does not conform to the applicable standards. GIs can play an important role in rural development, empowering communities, acting as product differentiators, support brand building, create local employment, reduce rural migration, creating a regional brand, generating spin-off effects in tourism and gastronomy, preserving traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions and conserving biodiversity.

During 2021-22, NABARD has extended support for GI registration of 88 products with grant assistance of Rs.2.06 crore. NABARD provides end-to-end support in facilitating pre-registration as well as post-registration activities for GI products. The prominent products supported by NABARD for GI registration are Black Pottery (Nizamabad), Wall Hangings (Ghazipur) Soft Stone Jali Work (Varanasi) Gulabi Minakari (Banaras) Handmade Dari (Mirzapur), Chadauli Kala Chawal etc.

Marketing Initiatives

In order to support rural artisans and producers to access new markets, widen and deepen their access to markets, increase their share in the final price paid by consumer and to market their products effectively. NABARD provides financial assistance for establishing rural haats and rural marts and also sponsoring exhibitions.

Rural Haat

NABARD extends support for setting up of new rural haats and for creating basic infrastructural facilities in existing rural haats which provide rural communities an accessible market to buy and sell their farm and off-farm produce. Rural Haats have emerged as forward linkages for Producer Organizations, Village Watershed and Tribal Development Committees.

During 2021-22, 69 Rural Haats have been supported in 20 states with grant support of Rs.9.24 crore.

Rural Mart

Rural Marts not only provide market access but also helps in promoting entrepreneurship amongst producers, artisans, SHGs etc. The Scheme provides support towards operational expenditure for setting up of rural mart at potential locations.

NABARD also provides support for mobile vans for NB supported FPOs, OFPOs and PACS. The support will help them to market their products.

Exhibitions / Melas

Exhibitions and melas at regional as well national level provide a direct marketing platform to the artisans with access to market intelligence, customer preferences and bulk orders. Participation in these Melas empower the artisans to face the challenges, cross learning and design development for fetching better prices of their products.

NABARD supports organising exhibitions independently or in collaboration with major partners. Grant assistance is also extended for enabling artisans and producers to participate in exhibitions at different places in India.

Stall in Mall

An innovative scheme ‘Stall in Mall’ was introduced during 2021 – 22, to provide support for hiring and/or setting up of temporary stalls in reputed malls, stores, market complexes, hotels and prominent premises, with good foot fall. These help in the rural producer to learn about price discovery, customer preferences, need for changing designs and e-marketing etc. The initiative also helps in B2B meetings and helps artisans and weavers to get direct orders. The intervention has helped in B2B meetings, because of which the artisans and weavers have got direct bulk / repeat orders.

Rural Business Incubation Centres

NABARD supports eligible institutions for setting up Rural Business Incubation Centres (RBICs) to nurture early stage innovative enterprises that have high growth potential in agribusiness by adding value and linking to producers and markets. These centres would incubate the start-ups working in identified areas in agriculture, allied activities to agriculture and off farm activities.

As on March 31, 2022, NABARD has supported seven Rural Business Incubation Centres with a grant assistance of Rs.63.3 crore. These incubation centres, have supported 697 incubatees. The centres have been able to directly and indirectly benefit 3 lakh farmers and youth. No new RBICs have been sanctioned during 2021-22.

Catalytic Capital Assistance to Incubators/Subsidiaries of NABARD

The objective of the scheme is to support incubation centres and subsidiaries of NABARD to in turn support start-ups in the stage of ‘Valley of Death’ stage in farm and non-farm sector to stimulate commercialisation of ideas and inventions that will lead to enterprise creation, increased employment and increased income-generating activities in rural areas. Support amounting to Rs 18 Crore has been sanctioned from the Fund till 31.3.22.

Stand Up India Scheme

Stand Up India Scheme (SUI), launched by Government of India, facilitates bank loans ranging from Rs 10.00 lakh to Rs 1.00 crore to at least one SC or ST borrower and at least one woman borrower per bank branch for setting up an enterprise. NABARD along with SIDBI continues to be the Connect Centre for organizing pre and post disbursement handholding events at district level, to share best practices, review the programme, problem solving and guiding the potential borrowers. The Stand Up India scheme has been extended up to 2025.

Post the budget for FY 2021-22, the following changes have since been approved in the Stand Up India Scheme with immediate effect:

i. The extent of margin money to be brought by the borrower may be reduced from 'upto 25%' to 'upto 15%' of the project cost. However, the borrower will continue to contribute at least 10% of the project cost as own contribution.
ii. Loans for enterprises in 'Activities allied to agriculture' e.g. pisciculture, beekeeping, poultry livestock, rearing, grading, sorting, aggregation agro industries, dairy, fishery, agri-clinic and agribusiness centers, food & agro-processing, etc. (excluding crop loans, land improvement such as canals, irrigation, wells) and services supporting these, shall be eligible for coverage under the Scheme.

Credit Linked Capital Subsidy Scheme (CLCSS)

NABARD is one of the nodal agencies for implementing the Credit Linked Capital Subsidy Scheme (CLCSS) for Technology Upgradation of Micro & Small Enterprises of Government of India. The Scheme supports the induction of proven and improved technologies into micro and small units in specified products/sub-sectors.

A total of 239 CLCSS subsidy applications pertaining to 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20 were scrutinised and forwarded to the Ministry for sanction of subsidy. Subsidy amounting to Rs.481.268 lakh was released during the year 2021-22. The scheme has since been closed by Ministry of MSME, GOI.

Contact Information

Shri Devasis Padhi
Chief General Manager
5th Floor, 'B' Wing
C-24, 'G' Block
Bandra-Kurla Complex, Bandra (East)
Mumbai 400 051
Tel: (91) 022--68120036
E-mail Address: ofdd@nabard.org

Information under RTI, Section 4(1)(b)