FSDD has been carved out of the erstwhile Development Policy Department - Farm Sector. The Department's core function is implementation of various farm sector initiatives aimed at conservation and management of natural resources, creating credit absorption capacity of farmers for accelerating ground level credit flow by the rural financial institutions, enhancing agricultural production and productivity by way of promoting modern farming technologies, good agricultural practices and skill building of farmers, generating rural employment and raising the standard of living of rural poor and enhancing farmers’ income through nurturing and supporting farmers’ collectives.
Effective implementation of the above programmes, which have evolved over a period through various policy initiatives and initiating other measures, required for addressing climate-related issues, risk mitigation, promoting climate smart/ hi-tech agriculture, crop diversification and enhancing of farmers’ income, promoting and nurturing farmers’ collectives, etc., are some of the important responsibilities assigned to the Department. Further, addressing the operational issues emerging during implementing, monitoring the programmes, documenting successful models/ practices for scaling up and providing feedback for policy framing/ improvement, are a part of the task assigned to the Department. The important portfolios handled by FSDD, are grouped under four verticals, as furnished below:
A. Farm Sector Promotional Fund
Farm Sector Promotion Fund (FSPF) was created in NABARD by the merger of two erstwhile funds, viz. Farm Innovation and Promotion Fund (FIPF) and Farmers' Technology Transfer Fund (FTTF) on 26 July 2014. The Fund focusses on promoting innovative and feasible concepts/projects and transfer of technology for enhancing production and productivity in agriculture and allied sectors and increasing farmers’ income.
B. Watershed Development Programme
The Union Finance Minister, in his budget speech for 1999-2000, had announced the creation of a Watershed Development Fund (WDF) in National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) with broad objectives of unification of multiplicity of watershed development programmes into a single national initiative through involvement of village level institutions and Project Facilitating Agencies (PFAs).
In pursuance thereof, WDF has been created in NABARD with a contribution of Rs. 100 crore each by Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India (GoI) and NABARD.
C. Tribal Development Fund
NABARD has been closely associated with tribal development and sustainable livelihoods through orchard based farming systems. As an integral component of NABARD’s Natural Resource Management (NRM) policy of providing sustainable livelihoods, NABARD laid special emphasis on providing support for holistic development of tribal communities with orchard establishment as the core element.
Based on the successful experience of Adivasi Development Programmes, NABARD embarked upon an ambitious program of replicating the wadi model across the country. In this direction, NABARD created a Tribal Development Fund (TDF) with a corpus of Rs. 50 crore, out of its profits for 2003-04. The corpus was augmented from time to time. All projects under TDF are implemented by partnering with State Governments, Government of India, NGOs and Corporates.
D. Producers Organisation Development Fund (PODF)
NABARD has taken an initiative for supporting producer organizations (POs), adopting a flexible approach to meet the needs of producers. In order to give a special focus, “Producers Organization Development Fund” (PODF) has been set up w.e.f. 01 April 2011, with an initial corpus of Rs. 50 crore.
Any registered PO viz. Producers Company (as defined under Sec. 581 A in part IXA of Company’s Act, 1956), Producers Cooperatives, registered Farmer Federations, MACS (Mutually Aided Cooperative Society), industrial cooperative societies, other registered federations, PACS, etc. set up by producers are eligible from the Fund.
Support under PODF is provided as under:
- Loan-linked grant support is available to the FPOs for promotion, capacity building & market interventions.
- Grant assistance to eligible agencies for organizing / conducting workshops, meetings, round table meetings, special studies, IT-based interventions, etc. is also available without linking to availing institutional loan.