Farmers who are deprived of bank loans due to inappropriate title deeds can now avail of loans with the help of the Joint Liability Group (JLG), a scheme devised by Union Bank of India is being encouraged by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Developments (NABARD).The scheme is geared towards farmers without proper title deeds, and is suitable for Goa, said NABARD director general, Panaji office.
The inability of 100s of farmers to access the Kisan Credit Card (KCC) scheme in Goa is of serious concern for the banks and state government. The KCC scheme, created by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) is to boost farming has not caught-on well with Goan farmers, in spite of its flexibility and offering the lowest rate of interest.
The NABARD officer said till date about 50,000 farmers are in Goa, out of which 25,000 are whole-time farmers and hold proper documents. Over the past three to four years the KCC scheme has disbursed loans to about 7,000 farmers, from the 25,000 whole-time farmers. It is a gap of 18,000 whole-time farmers the banks are making efforts to lure the KCC loans to.
Under the KCC scheme, State Bank of India Margao branch disbursed around ` 25 lakh to 50 KCC cardholder (a credit passbook), last year. This year from April to September SBI disbursed only ` 10 lakh to some 20 KCC holders, according to Mr Shivshanker Awaghade, SBI marketing officer.
“Farmers don’t have clear title documents is the main reason for the poor response to this scheme. Farmers are taking term loans for farming accessories. More awareness of the scheme is needed in far flung areas of Goa,” he said.
The KCC scheme is available from ` 50,000 to ` 3 lakh to medium-scale farmers at an interest rate of 7 per cent, a further deduction of two per cent subvention if the payment is prompt, thereby the farmer pays 5 per cent, said a Bank of India (BoI) agriculture official. Five BoI branches in Goa disbursed ` 2.02 crore to 107 farmers.
The funds are available, but the collateral security of land titles is not in place and hence 100s of farmers are deprived of the KCC loans. Many farmers who are descendent do not posses Form 1-14, the ownership rights, he said.
Mr Carvalho, a Nabard official told ‘The Navhind Times’ the KCC scheme is implemented by all commercial banks, regional rural banks (RRBs), state cooperative banks (SCBs), district central cooperative banks (DCCBs), primary agriculture societies (PACs), and scheduled primary cooperative banks. Farmer clubs creates awareness of various bank schemes and SBI has formed 56 farmer clubs in rural areas. “We expect other banks with branches in rural areas to from farmers clubs,” he said. He said that the UBI bank has formed seven JLG groups.