Banks must help agriculture sector growth: Chief Secy

63 pc of agri population contributes 18 pc to State GDP

While the service and industrial sectors have been doing well, the State had not been able to achieve considerable growth in the agriculture sector, whose growth per year stood at 1 or 1.5 per cent, he said.

Speaking at a State credit seminar, Ranganath said 63 per cent of the State’s population that depended on the agriculture sector had been contributing only 18 per cent to the State’s Gross Domestic Product. The government and the bankers need to identify key issues necessary for enhancing agriculture production.

The government would convene an agriculture business summit in June next year on the lines of the Global Investors’ meet held last year, he said. The summit would focus on investments in agriculture processing, research, contract farming and lease farming.

The State has registered considerable progress in the horticulture sector. The per-capita in non-irrigated districts is more than in irrigated districts due to horticulture crops. The proposed summit will focus on attracting more investments in this sector, he added.

National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) executive director, Prakash Bakshi, said though credits were flowing into the agriculture sector, production remained stagnant.

He said the State should follow the success models adopted by Gujarat and Chhattisgarh. Gujarat could register 10 per cent growth in the agriculture sector by adopting drip irrigation for farming. In Chhattisgarh, the government set up procurement centres to procure paddy grown by farmers. As a result, farmers got better prices for the crop compared to the previous years, boosting the production level, he said.

Credit for 2011-12

The NABARD has estimated a credit potential of Rs 41,085 crore in 2011-12. This is 31 per cent over the estimated potential for 2010-11. Chief General Manager of NABARD V Tagat said the credit allocation would comprise 45 per cent towards crop loans, other priority sectors 29 pc, agriculture term loan 18 pc and for non-farm
sector 8 pc.

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