The Goa government is ready to stand guarantee if banks come up with a proper loan scheme for farmers in the state, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar said today. Addressing a function organised by the NABARD (National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development), the chief minister said his government is ready to provide the “back up support” to banks if they draft a loan scheme for farmers. Parrikar also asked the apex development financial institution in the country to ensure that banks draft loan schemes catering to Goa-based farmers. “If banks come up with a proper loan scheme for farmers, the state government can deposit up to 15 per cent of the loan amount in banks as a guarantee,” Parrikar said. He said the state government had issued Kisan cards–a credit delivery mechanism that is aimed at enabling farmers to have quick and timely access to affordable–to all the farmers including those who do not own any land.
“Due to the Kisan Card, readymade data of each farmer on cultivation is available. This data can be used as a base for deciding his upper limit for loan,” the chief minister said. Parrikar proposed three slabs to fix the lending limit for farmers, with the upper threshold at Rs 50,000. “The state government can also deposit money in loan accounts of farmers so that financial institutions need not worry about the recovery of the loaned amount,” he said. Parrikar said the contribution of agriculture to GDP has been increased under the BJP rule from minus grading during the fiscal 2011-12 to four per cent. “It is projected to be six per cent in the years to come,” he said.
Parrikar said the agricultural growth in Goa has been facing some “impediments” due to several factors that are beyond the government’s control. “The farmers in the coastal regulation zone are facing difficulties as they need the permission from authorities to do anything, except sowing of seeds,” he said, adding that despite difficulties, farmers are doing their best in Goa. Goa has 13,000 hectares of fallow land, of which even 10,000 hectares is brought under cultivation, the agriculture output can be increased by 50 per cent, Parrikar said.