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NABARD pioneers agri-financing and developmental interventions to promote rural growth
Mumbai | July 2022

NABARD pioneers agri-financing and developmental interventions to promote rural growth

National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has managed to achieve new milestones in 2021-22 through its focused and initiative-driven approach. Here's the lowdown on a few of the successful initiatives that the development bank has carried out, which have set new benchmarks:

Financial highlights

NABARD's balance sheet has grown to Rs 7,57,246 crore in 2021-22. Expanding the lending, the bank's loan portfolio increased to Rs 6,80,731 crore as of March 31. The total disbursement stood at Rs 3,77,086 crore.

NABARD reported an all-time-high refinance disbursement of Rs 2.68 lakh crore during 2021-22. Long-term refinance disbursement reached a record high of Rs 1,16,000 crore. Similarly, the bank also reported a significant high short-term disbursement with Rs 1,52,430 crore.

Supporting the country's financial institutions in the second and third waves of the Covid-19 pandemic, NABARD infused adequate liquidity by disbursing Rs 24,399.44 crore under Special Liquidity Facility – 2 (SLF-2). A concessional refinance of Rs 15,000 crore was disbursed to regional rural banks and cooperative banks for boosting capital formation in agriculture.

Infrastructure development

NABARD's flagship programme, Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF), aims to build a robust physical and social infrastructure in rural areas. The cumulative sanction under RIDF as on March 31 stood at Rs 4.55 lakh crore, covering about 7.43 lakh projects. With a view to establishing scientific foodgrain storage infrastructure, NABARD has also been operating a warehouse infrastructure fund with a corpus of Rs 10,000 crore.

Developmental measures

NABARD has so far promoted 6,395 farmer producer organisations (FPOs) with a grant assistance of Rs 947 crore. Further, in a bid to encourage institutional lenders to provide credit to FPOs, a credit guarantee fund with a corpus of Rs 1,000 crore has also been set up.

On the micro-credit front, 1.18 crore self-help groups (SHGs) have been covered cumulatively by the banks under the SHG -Bank Linkage Programme. While bank loans disbursed to SHGs was Rs 99,549 crore, average loan disbursed per SHG stood at Rs 2.94 lakh in 2021-22. The grant assistance released by NABARD for the promotion and nurturing of SHGs stood at Rs 427 crore.

Moreover, NABARD has been undertaking several initiatives such as piloting net zero-ground water use in watersheds, development of simple tools for climate change vulnerability analysis, climate proofing of its natural resource management, interventions under wadi/watershed plantations, installation of automated weather stations, etc.

As of March 31, NABARD supported 58 off-farm producer organisations (OFPOs), including 14 all-women groups, covering over 17,000 beneficiaries across 25 states. Moreover, NABARD has undertaken the GI registration of 112 products. Cumulatively, close to 10 lakh rural youth have been trained so far to enable them to take up wage and employment activities.

New Initiatives

NABARD supports institutions directly associated with agriculture and rural development by setting up rural/agri-business incubation centres to nurture early-stage innovative enterprises and start-ups. Similarly, a Rs 100 crore catalytic capital fund has been set up in 2020-21 to support agri and rural start-ups in the 'valley of death' stage.

NABARD was also one of the frontline investors in Open Network for Digital Commerce by making an initial investment of Rs 10 crore.

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