Amit Shah urges banks to focus on agriculture sector


The Cooperation Minister says that the vision is for the Indian farmer to be able to eradicate hunger not only in the country but also in the world, for which cooperatives have played a vital role.

The Cooperation Minister says that the vision is for the Indian farmer to be able to eradicate hunger not only in the country but also in the world, for which cooperatives have played a vital role.

Cooperation Minister Amit Shah said on Saturday that the Agriculture and Rural Development Bank (ARDB) should provide more long-term loans to the agriculture sector, including irrigation and other infrastructure projects.

Mr. Shah was speaking at the National Conference of Agricultural and Rural Development Banks (ARDBs).

He congratulated the rural banks in Kerala, Gujarat, Karnataka and West Bengal for excelling in following all regulatory parameters.

“The objectives of NABARD are fulfilled only when all available money is spent on rural development and agriculture. But this is not possible if we do not promote long-term finance, infrastructure and micro-irrigation in agriculture”Amit ShahMinister for Cooperation

“Redirecting surplus funds to non-agricultural uses does not serve the purpose. The objectives of NABARD are fulfilled only when all available money is spent on rural development and agriculture. But this is not possible if we do not promote long-term finance, infrastructure and micro-irrigation in agriculture,” said Mr. Shah.

He said that 25 years ago, the share of long-term finance in the agriculture sector was around 50%, and now it has fallen to 25%.

“In Assam, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, the entire infrastructure has collapsed. Currently, only 13 states have agricultural and rural development banks that are working relatively in line with the government’s expectations,” the minister said.

He said that the country ranks seventh in the world in terms of agricultural land availability and agricultural activity, second only to America. “That is why NABARD was established. If we fully irrigate 39.4 million hectares of land, then the Indian farmer will be able to eradicate hunger not only in the country but also in the world. But if we have to irrigate, and there is a shortage of water, then we have to go for a micro irrigation system, and if the farms have become small, then we have to irrigate them with the help of cooperatives,” he said.

Mr. Shah said that there is no database for cooperation in the country and if there is no database, one cannot think of expansion. “We do not have any database of how many coastal states do not have fishing cooperatives. We don’t have any database of how many cooperatives are working in the country,” he said.



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