Odisha Govt Announces Balaram Scheme to Empower Over 7 Lakh Landless Farmers
Odisha Govt Announces Balaram Scheme to Empower Over 7 Lakh Landless Farmers

Odisha Govt Announces Balaram Scheme to Empower Over 7 Lakh Landless Farmers

  • The Odisha government has launched a scheme ‘Balaram’ to provide agricultural credit of Rs 1,040 crore to landless farmers who are facing hardships due to the coronavirus outbreak, officials said.
  • Around seven lakh landless cultivators will be benefited from the programme in the next two years, they said.
  • The decision in this regard was taken at a high-level meeting presided over by chief secretary A K Tripathy.
  • The landless farmers, who were not able to avail farm credit earlier, will get loans through joint liability groups which will act as ‘social collateral’, agriculture and farmers empowerment department secretary Sourabh Garg said.
  • The scheme was designed in collaboration with the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), he said, adding that the village agriculture workers will implement the programme at the field level.
  • State finance secretary A K Meena asked officials to mobilise the banking sector through the State Level Bankers’ Committee (SLBC) for extending credit support to the landless farmers and sharecroppers who do not get loans due to lack of resources.
  • Two state-run organisations – the Institute on Management of Agricultural Extension and the Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA) – will be the nodal agencies at the state and district levels respectively for implementation of the scheme.
  • “It was also decided to incentivise ‘Krushak Sathis’ and village agriculture workers through the ATMA for the formation of JLGs, linking them to the banks, mobilising credit disbursal and facilitating repayment of the loans,” Garg said.
  • Each lender will finance at least 10 JLGs in a year, he said, adding that there are around 7,000 branches of different banks and the Primary Agriculture Cooperative Societies (PACS) in rural and semi-urban areas.
  • “Each JLG will have five members and one group will get Rs 1.6 lakh. The target is to cover around seven lakh landless cultivators through 1.40 lakh JLGs within two years,” he said.

About Odisha-

Odisha (formerly Orissa), an eastern Indian state on the Bay of Bengal, is known for its tribal cultures and its many ancient Hindu temples. The capital, Bhubaneswar, is home to hundreds of temples, notably the intricately-carved Mukteshvara. The Lingaraj Temple complex, dating to the 11th century, is set around sacred Bindusagar Lake. The Odisha State Museum is focused on the area’s history and environment.

  • Capital – Bhubaneswar
  • Governor – Ganeshi Lal
  • Chief Minister – Naveen Patnaik

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