Event Details

Capacity Building for Least Developed Countries (LDCs) 
Lucknow | 30 October 2015
1. Introduction
Agriculture provides immense opportunities and is the most important source of employment, income and overall wellbeing for most of the developing countries. The countries categorized as Least Developed Countries (LDCs) have enormous natural resources and have the potential to attain self-sufficiency in agriculture. There is a growing belief among the international community that LDCs can indeed produce enough food to export a growing surplus and in the process make a real contribution to ensuring food security for the whole world, while also ensuring growth of its economy and pulling its citizens out of poverty. However, the realization of the above goal would require huge transformation and modernization of the agriculture sector characterized by subsistence farming by mostly small & marginal holders, low output, rudimentary production tools & agricultural technologies, vulnerability to drought conditions, declining farm output and poor access to inputs. It is in this context that India needs to reaffirm its commitment to support these countries.
2. About NABARD
NABARD an apex development bank owned by the Government of India was set up under an Act of Parliament for supporting and promoting agriculture and rural development. NABARD has been playing a crucial role in the development of various activities in the farm and non-farm sector in the country. NABARD is already engaged in providing capacity building support in agriculture and rural development to the officials of Rural Financial Institutions (RFIs), NGOs, Microfinance institutions (MFIs), etc. Further details about NABARD are given in the annexure.
3. Capacity Building Areas
3.1 Agricultural Scenario in Least Developed Countries
  • Least Developed Countries remain at the current level of development because of a variety of reasons that may include inappropriate central planning, high level of illiteracy and lack of access to capital.
  • Poverty, illiteracy, malnutrition, inadequate water supply & sanitation as well as poor health affect a large proportion of the people in the LDCs.
  • Most of the poor population in these countries continues to be dependent on farming. Thus, fostering agricultural growth is often seen as being central to development strategies aimed at reducing poverty and hunger in the region.
  • Further, women accounts for more than 50% of the agricultural activity, producing about 60-70% of the food in most of the LDCs.
  • Rain-fed agriculture predominates and the farmers are dependent on a single crop during rainy season. Smallholder farmers predominate the agricultural scenario and they produce a variety of crops in small quantum of marketable surplus. 
  • Higher and sustained growth in agriculture in LDCs would require attention to the following five core areas of public action:
          - Improving productivity and production in agricultural crops and allied activities by way of greater investment                  through bank finance in farm infrastructure and extension of farm technology;
          - Investment in public infrastructure for agricultural growth
          -Facilitating agricultural markets and trade;
          -Reducing rural vulnerability and insecurity; and - Improving agricultural policy framework and institutional structure.
3.2. Perceived Capacity Building Needs in LDCs
  • NABARD can offer, through NABCONS & BIRD, the following services to the LDCs:
  • Training support to banks, Government Departments, Development Agencies, NGOs, micro-Finance institutions in the field of agriculture and rural development
  • Technical assistance to banks, Governments, Development Agencies, NGOs, international agencies and others for evolving technologies & appropriate development models in the fields relating to agriculture, rural development, rural banking, micro-finance, training, etc.
  • Collaborative arrangements with other training institutes & research organizations in India & abroad and act as a forum for exposure & experience sharing in the field of agriculture and rural development
3.3. Training Support to Various Stakeholders
I. Training Needs Assessment (TNA)
NABARD can undertake a training needs assessment to identify performance requirements and the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed by various development agencies. A needs assessment is the process of identifying the gap between performance required and current performance and will help in determining the training objectives.
II. Types of Training Programmes
Target Group: Banks, Rural Financial Institutions (RFIs), NGOs, VAs, MFIs
Duration: ranging from 01-04 weeks
a) Improving production and productivity of agriculture
  • Better flow of credit to the desired sectors and sub-sectors of agriculture
  • Natural resource management in agricultural development programs
  • Better management of livestock wealth, both in policy making and in investment allocation
  • Reduction of post-harvest food losses, value-addition, strategic storage and transport infrastructure
  • Development of sustainable organic farming systems based on available best practices
b) Diversification of agriculture
  • Adoption of diversified crop production and practices
  • Production of high value crops
c) Improved Credit Planning and Coordination among various agencies
  • Better credit planning for agriculture and rural development through participative mechanism
  • Methodical allocation and channelization of credit to the desired sectors in a planned manner
  • Proper monitoring of implementation of credit plans for mid-term correction, wherever required
  • Promoting better coordination among bankers, Government officials and other stakeholders
  • Better participation of non-state institutions including civil society, farmers’ organizations, private sector, NGOs as well as universities and knowledge institutions in advancing development
  • Country-led initiatives and programmes towards gender sensitization
d) Poverty Alleviation
  • Promotion of strategies to improve rural livelihoods
  • Promotion of sustainable agricultural development, food & nutrition security, financial inclusion, self-help, etc. to achieve Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for poverty reduction and health
  • Improved access to formal credit sources for the poor masses
e) Financial Inclusion & Financial Literacy
  • Provision of financial services at affordable costs
  • Use of technology to increase the spread & outreach of financial services 
  • Providing education on financial services to rural masses
f) Information Technology in Agriculture & Rural Banking
  • Systems of Weather, Technology & Market Information to the Farmers
  • Provision of micro ATMs
  • Mobile banking services
  • Banking through Business Correspondents
g) Rural Banking and Financial Management
  • Project formulation/preparation, implementation & monitoring
  • Financing for agriculture and allied activities
  • Financing for off-farm and non-farm sector activities
h) Natural Resource Management Aspects
i) Climate Change Issues and Carbon Credit Market
Design of a trainers’ training programme for different development agencies in LDCs to create a critical mass of trainers in the country who can address the training gaps in various sectors.
j) Trainers Training Programmes
k) Seats in Existing Training programmes
In addition to the design of special training programmes as above, seats can also be earmarked in the existing training programmes being conducted by BIRD for participants from LDCs
3.4 Suggestive List of Training Programmes
An indicative list of capacity building programmes that might be conducted for the officials of LDCs is given in the following table:-
S. No. Area Target Audience (Officials from) Duration (days)
1 Crop Loan / Production Credit Finance Banks 3
2 Financing Agricultural Projects Banks 10
3 Value Chain in Animal Husbandry / Fisheries Sectors Banks/NGOs/Processors 3
4 Exposure Programme on Innovations in Agriculture Banks 2
5 Agriculture Policy and Credit Intensification Banks and Government Departments 2
6 Financing Micro & Small Enterprises Banks 5
7 Exposure-cum-Orientation on Farm Sector Activities Banks/NGOs/MFIs 5
8 Producers Organisations NGOs/MFIs 3
9 Financing Agro-Processing Sector Banks 4
10 Business Diversification for banks Banks 3
11 Financing Cold storages / Warehouses & Warehouse Receipt Banks 3
12 Value Chain in Agriculture Banks/NGOs/MFIs 5
13 Contract Farming Banks/NGOs/MFIs 3
14 Analysis of Financial Statements
15 Risk Management in Banks  Banks 
16  Investment & Treasury Management  Banks 
17  Asset Liability Management  Banks 
18  Corporate Governance for Local Government Institutions  Local Government Institutions 
19  Sustainable Group Mode of Financing  Banks/NGOs/MFIs 
20  Financing micro Finance Institution  Banks 
21  Credit Aspects in Rural Development  Banks/NGOs/Government/MFIs 
22  Formation and Financing of Joint Liability Groups  Banks/NGOs/MFIs 
23  Formation and Financing of Self Help Groups  Banks/NGOs/MFIs 
24  Financial Inclusion  Banks/NGOs/MFIs 3
25  Financial Literacy  Banks/NGOs/MFIs 3
26  Cyber Crime and Prevention of Frauds in Banks  Banks 3
27 Auditing computerized branch Banks 5
3.5. List of Training Programmes conducted by BIRD for LDCs 
 S. No.  Area  Target Audience (Officials from) Duration (days) 
 1  Exposure visit on Microfinance for Agriculture Bankers from Bangladesh  5
Programme for Assistant in Credit Department of Bank of Bhutan Credit
Officials of Bank of Bhutan  5
 3 Programme on Skill Development of Trainers in the Area of Promotion and Financing of SHGs & JLGs for Financial Inclusion of Rural Poor   Bank official from SAARC countries
 4 APRACA Exposure Study Visit – Regional Capability Building Workshop on Innovative Agricultural Value Chain Finance for Smallholder Farmers and Entrepreneurs  Bank official from APRACA countries (Cambodia, Nepal, Bangladesh)   5
3.6 Technical Assistance
Despite existence of financial institutions, most rural people in LDCs, particularly in poorer population groups, still have no adequate access to financial services. It is possible to address these problems with a range of reforms aimed at integrating the underserved rural areas and poorer population groups into the financial sector. Further, the RFIs in LDCs need institutional strengthening. In cooperation with the relevant stakeholders, NABARD can provide technical assistance for implementing following programme components:
  • Development of a CCS training and certification system: NABARD with the help of Bankers Institute of Rural Development (BIRD) / NABCONS will establish a national training certification unit in identified LDCs. The unit will be responsible for accreditation of training institutes and to develop training and examination materials.
  • Strengthening of Supervision of RFIs: NABARD, in consultation with Central Bank / Apex Agriculture Rural Development Bank of identified LDCs will help in formulation of appropriate policies and supervision standards, and launch programme that promotes communication and cooperation between the Supervisors and the RFI stakeholders.
  • Payment systems and remittances: The programme will support the stakeholders (commercial banks, CCS, etc.) in developing and institutionalizing a business correspondent model through which migrants can access money transfer services.
  • Conducting pilots for improving the livelihood, skills development and financial inclusion: NABARD will help design and implement innovative scalable programmes aimed at improving conditions for marginalized groups. NABARD, through technical assistance, will undertake pilots aimed at generating recommendations for improving the livelihood, skills development and financial inclusion components of the Government’s development programmes.
  • Formulation of Policies for Development of Agriculture in LDCs - NABARD will help LDCs in formulation of policies to ensure better access to yield enhancing inputs, undertake market stabilization measures, design producer incentive structures and ensure accelerated adoption of scientific technologies.
  • Institutional Development and Capacity Building of Stakeholders - NABARD will help LDCs in conduct of Organizational Development Intervention (ODI) to develop strategies to increase the effectiveness of various development agencies to achieve their goals. NABARD will also assist LDCs in setting up of specialized training institutions for rural finance institutions such as cooperatives, rural banks, etc. and in development of training modules in agriculture and rural development.
3.7. Collaborative arrangements
NABARD will provide a forum to LDCs for experience sharing with other training institutes, research organizations, development agencies in the field of agriculture and rural development. NABARD will also network with training institutions related to rural development / rural banking in LDCS and provide help in sharing and dissemination of best practices, success stories, etc. among stakeholders in LDCs.
3.8. Special Lines of Credit
Apart from capacity building measures and technical assistance discussed in the foregoing, the Govt. of India, through NABARD, can offer a special line of credit to the Central Bank/ Apex Agriculture Rural Development Bank of identified LDCs to replicate / upscale successful pilot projects implemented under the technical assistance given by NABARD.
1. NABARD is a Development Bank with a mandate for providing and regulating credit for the development of agriculture, small-scale industries, cottage and village industries, handicrafts and other allied economic activities in rural areas to promote prosperity of rural areas. NABARD has played a crucial role in the development of farm sectors like minor irrigation, horticulture & plantation, forestry, land development, animal husbandry, fisheries, farm mechanization, post-harvest management, infrastructure for agricultural marketing etc., as well as non-farm sector activities like rural based industries, agro-industries including fruits & vegetable processing, artisans, handicrafts, handlooms etc.
2. NABARD also acts as a coordinator in the operations of rural credit institutions, extends assistance to the government, the Reserve Bank of India and other organizations in matters relating to rural development, offers training and research facilities for banks, cooperatives and organizations working in the field of rural development, provides financial assistance to state governments for rural infrastructure and acts as regulator for cooperative banks and RRBs.
3. NABARD has played the role of a catalyst in pioneering several development initiatives such as the Self Help Group Bank Linkage Programme, implementation of watershed development programme, development of tribals, boost rural livelihoods by supporting community-managed sustainable natural resource management projects. The institutional development initiatives taken by NABARD include support to Rural Credit Cooperatives and Regional Rural Banks to provide a sustainable Rural Financial System to enhance credit flow to farmers and others in rural areas.
4.NABARD has been a preferred partner for many international development agencies for conceptualizing and execution of development projects in India such as KfW- NABARD Adivasi development programme, Indo-German watershed development programme, Indo-German Umbrella Programme for Natural Resource Management and NABARD- SDC Rural Innovations Programme.
5.The Government of India runs many subsidy linked credit schemes through NABARD such as dairy entrepreneurship development scheme, commercial production of organic inputs, rural godowns, agricultural marketing infrastructure, agri clinics and agri business, credit linked capital subsidy scheme in the non-farm sector. The GOI has also initiated revival packages for handlooms and weavers through NABARD.
6.NABARD is actively engaged in providing capacity building in agriculture and rural development to the officials of rural financial institutions, NGOs, Voluntary Agencies, MFIs etc. and has also set up the following institutions for this purpose: 
(A) Bankers Institute of Rural Development (BIRD):
BIRD is a Learning Institution promoted by NABARD to cater to the training requirements of the stake holders of agriculture and rural banking. BIRD is also engaged in identifying and documenting issues critical to expansion of inclusive rural credit and facilitating policy discussions on these issues. BIRD conducts in–house, on-location and overseas training programmes for bankers from within and outside the country, officials of central and state governments and NGOs. The training programmes cover a wide range of subjects that include banking, finance, micro finance, financial inclusion, projects, development themes, IT applications in banking, human resource management, etc. BIRD also conducts studies, research and consultancy on contemporary topics in related fields. Its sprawling and eco-friendly campus, spread over 40 acres, equipped with all modern state of the art amenities and library with over 50,000 collections of books on different subjects, offers perfect ambience for academic pursuits.
(B) NABARD Consultancy Services (NABCONS):  
is a wholly owned subsidiary promoted by NABARD engaged in providing consultancy in all spheres of agriculture, rural development and allied areas. NABCONS leverages on the core competence of NABARD in the areas of agriculture and rural development, especially in the areas of multidisciplinary agriculture projects, banking, institutional development, infrastructure, training, etc., that have been internalized for more than two decades. NABCONS has designed and conducted several International Visitors Programmes, especially for LDCs in Africa and South East Asia in areas such as microfinance, cooperatives, project finance, agriculture lending etc. The Ministry of External affairs, GOI has selected NABCONS as the implementation agency to establish the India Africa Institute for Agriculture and Rural Development (IAIARD), a pan African institution to facilitate building of capacities of stakeholders in different sectors of agriculture and rural development to be set up in Malawi under the framework for Enhanced Cooperation between India and Africa.
Operationalization of the Waiver concerning Preferential Treatment to Service and Service Suppliers of Least Developed Countries (LDCs) – Offer to be made by India – Comments of
NABARD - Additional Information
Details of programmes conducted by BIRD Lucknow
for APRACA and SAARC member country’s officials 
 Sr.No.  Title  Target Clients  Duration  No of days
 1 Programme for Assistants in Credit Department of Bank of Bhutan Ltd.,   Bank of Bhutan  20-24 Aug 2012  5
 2 Programme for Assistants in Credit Department of Bank of Bhutan Ltd.,  Bank of Bhutan 
17-21 Sep 2012
 3 Programme on Skill Development of Trainers in the area of Promotion and Financing of SHGs and JLGs for Financial Inclusion of Rural Poor - CICTAB Programme   SAARC Countries 18-21 Feb 2013   4
 4 Training Programme for Participants from RDB, Sri Lanka  Officers of RDB, Sri Lanka  4-8 Mar 2013   5
 5 Training Programme on Micro Finance - Regional Development Bank, Sri Lanka  Officers of RDB, Srilanka  13-17 May 2013   5
 6 Training Programme on Micro Finance - Regional Development Bank, Sri Lanka  Officers of RDB, Srilanka  10-14 June 2013   5
 7 Exposure Visit on Micro Finance for Agriculture to BIRD, Lucnkow  Bankers from Bangladesh and Dhaka  14-18 Oct 2013   5
 8 APRACA Exposure Study Visit - Regional Capability Building Workshop on Innovative Agricultural Value Chain Finance for Smallholder Farmers and Enperpreneurs 
APRACA countries
08-12 Dec 2014   5