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About Us

Off Farm Development Department

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 migration of small and marginal farmers and agricultural labour to urban areas in search of livelihood opportunities in the agriculture sector.

Off-Farm Development Department (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 the programmes that enable development of skills, promote avenues for marketing, foster collectives of producers of small, cottage and village industries, handloom, handicrafts and other rural crafts and service sector in rural areas.

Core Functions

  • i. To promote sustainable livelihood activities, development of grant based products and capacity building of rural poor to improve their family income.
  • ii. To improve access and flow of credit to Off-Farm activities.
  • iii. To support development and promotion of Off-Farm Producers' Organizations in handloom, handicraft, skill and enterprise development, upscaling of innovations, Business Incubation Centres, marketing (rural haat, rural mart, exhibitions, fairs etc.,), capacity building of channel partners, dissemination of information and propagation of sector specific activities through seminars/workshops etc., in Off-Farm Sector.

Eligible Institutions

Government agencies including Panchayat Raj Institutions, Apex/State Level Corporations and Boards, Individuals/Groups of individuals, SHGs, SHG Federations, Farmers’ Clubs (FCs), FC Federations, activity based JLGs, NGOs/MFIs, Trusts, Registered Community Based Organisations (CBO), Registered Producers’ Organisations/people’s organisations, Co-operatives (including PACS), Banks, RRBs, NSDC affiliated training institutes, Skill Development Council, RUDSETIs/RSETIs, Corporates, Companies Proprietary/ Partnership/Pvt. Limited/Public limited, etc. including Section 8 Companies, NBFCs, Private Companies as part of Corporate Social Responsibility, Colleges, Research Institutions, Universities, Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs), Marketing Federations, Commodity Boards, subsidiaries of NABARD and such other organizations which approach NABARD for financial support for undertaking Off-Farm Sector promotional interventions and whose objectives/activities are catering to the development of Off-farm sector and approved by NABARD.

Initiatives of OFDD NABARD

i) Skill Development

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” ( enabling complete digitisation of skill interventions.

ii) Off Farm Producer Organisation (OFPO)

Off-farm Producer Organisations (OFPOs) are formal rural entity formed by artisans, weavers, artisans etc., to promote rural enterprises, mechanisation, adoption of technology, develop strong forward and backward linkages, ensure better income realisation, profit distribution, which ultimately brings in sustainable and inclusive development through collectivisation.

iii) Promotion of GI Products

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 Nizamabad Black Pottery (Uttar Pradesh), Gulabi Meenakari (Uttar Pradesh), Ladakh Wood Carvings (Jammu & Kashmir), Udupi Saree (Karnataka), Kathputlis (Rajasthan), Ringal Craft (Uttarakhand) etc.

So far, NABARD has provided support for 230 products out of which, 70 have been granted registration by Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT)

NABARD has also supported two exclusive marketing outlets for GI products:

  • “The Banaras GI Store” at Deen Dayal Hasthakala Sankul at Varanasi Uttar Pradesh with a grant assistance of ₹ 14.57 lakh.
  • “Desha Shoochakam” at North Paravur, Kerala with grant assistance of ₹ 10.00 lakh.

iv) Marketing Initiatives

In order to support rural artisans and producers to widen and deepen their access to markets, to access new 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, stall in mall and sponsoring exhibitions.

a) Rural Haat

Rural Haat serves as a trading outlet in rural areas. Rural Haats take place on regular intervals and promotes rural-to-rural trade. In addition to providing business opportunities haats continue to play an essential role in the rural economy.

NABARD supports Rural Haats for facilitating producers to sell surplus agricultural and related items at these marketplaces and help local consumers to purchase consumer goods in their vicinity. Rural Haats are also known as traditional hypermarkets in rural India.

b) Rural Mart

NABARD supports for setting up of Rural Marts which is retail marketing outlet for producers/artisans/weavers to sell their locally made products. The objective of the scheme is to facilitate marketing linkages for artisans, weavers and agro based products.

Rural Mart Rural Marts not only provide market access but also help in promoting entrepreneurship amongst producers.

c) Exhibitions / Melas

Exhibitions/Melas provide a unique platform for artisans, weavers, members of OFPOs and SHGs to develop direct linkages with customers, understand their needs and requirements and earn additional income through sale of their products.

Exhibitions/Melas help the participants to link up with bulk buyers, eliminate the role of middlemen in marketing of rural products. Exhibitions/Melas also create awareness amongst urban consumers about rural products. Participation in these Exhibitions empower the artisans to face the challenges, cross learning and design development for fetching better prices of their products.

d) Stall in Mall

An innovative scheme ‘Stall in Mall’ was introduced 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. This initiatives would help 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.

v) Rural Business Incubation Centres (RBICs)

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.

vi) Catalytic Capital Assistance to Incubators/Subsidiaries of NABARD

NABARD has introduced the Catalytic Capital scheme to provide financial assistance to startups through Incubation Centres/Subsidiaries of NABARD in order to encourage the formation and development of innovative, technology-based business enterprises in agriculture and identified sectors that will lead to venture creations, increased employment and leveraging of public and private investment through the following models. The catalytic capital support is positioned to act as a bridge between two stages viz. development and commercialization of innovative technologies / products /services in agriculture.

vii) Projects in DPR mode

Keeping in view the diversity of the nature of off-farm sector as well as requirement of disadvantaged regions of the country, during the 2021-22, NABARD decided to support location specific interventions on pilot basis in DPR mode. On receipt of satisfactory feedback and progress, it has been decided to mainstream the pilot scheme.

viii) Capacity Building Fund for Social Stock Exchange (CBF-SSE)

The Hon'ble Finance Minister of India in her Budget Speech of July 2019 had announced the creation of a Social Stock Exchange (SSE) under SEBI, for listing social enterprises and voluntary organizations working for social welfare, to raise capital as equity, debt or as units like a mutual fund. As per the framework approved by SEBI, the SSE will be a separate segment on existing Stock Exchanges to leverage the securities market instruments to enable fund raising by eligible voluntary organizations.

ix) Stand-up India Scheme

The Stand Up India Scheme (SUI) launched by Govt. of India on 15 August 2016 which facilitates bank loans ranging from ₹ 10.00 lakh to ₹ 1.00 crore to atleast one SC or ST borrower and at least one women borrower, per bank branch for setting up enterprise.

The scheme is owned by SIDBI and NABARD has been entrusted as Connect Centre with handholding support to borrowers.

Hon'ble FM as a part of Budget speech FY 2021-22, announced that scheme has been extended upto March 2025 and proposed that to facilitate credit flow under the scheme of Stand Up India for SCs, STs and women, the margin money requirement has been reduced from 25% to 15%, and also included loans for activities allied to agriculture.

x) Special Credit Linked Capital Subsidy Scheme (SCLCSS)

Ministry of MSME, Govt. of India has introduced Special Credit Linked Capital Subsidy Scheme (SCLCSS) under National SC-ST Hub (NSSH) with the objectives to promote setting up of new enterprises and support existing enterprises in their expansion for enhanced participation in the public procurement. The scheme is applicable to the eligible SC/ST Micro and Small Enterprises of Sole proprietorships, Partnerships, Co-operative Societies, Private and Public Limited Companies engaged in Manufacturing and Service activities. NABARD is one of the nodal agencies for implementing the scheme.

For information regarding the scheme, one may visit the Government of India portal:

Contact Information

Shri R Anand
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:

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

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