Chennai, February 18, 2017: The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has identified a credit potential of Rs. 1.91 lakh crore for Tamil Nadu. Out of this about 63% is meant for agriculture and allied activities. The credit is also to be used for programmes designed to doubling of farmer’s income during the next four years. In order to ensure that the credit yields the desired results, the following steps are necessary.
- Distribution of credit is best done along the agroecological zones described in Sangam literature (kurinchi – mountainous region, mullai - forest, marutam – agricultural land,neythal – coastal region, and palai - deserts). The opportunities in these carefully identified agro-ecological zones vary and the credit needs also vary.
- Women farmers should be given Kisan Credit Cards. At the moment they are not issued kisan credit cards unless they have title to land. Increasingly women farmers play an important role in agricultural transformation Their role is particularly significant in the case of animal husbandry and horticulture
- Tamil Nadu has over 1000 km of coastal area and coastal regions provide an opportunity for sea water farming. Sea water constitutes nearly 97% of the total world water supply.
- Agri-aqua farms using sea water can be promoted throughout the coast.
- The initiative taken by MSSRF in establishing a genetic garden of halophytes needs to be replicated along with the coast with the help of NABARD.
The State Credit Plan 2017-18 opens the door to the enhancement of the productivity, profitability and sustainability of Tamil Nadu’s agriculture.
(MSSRF pic: A Halophyte farm)