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Govt to take steps to make available KCC to more dairy farmers: Secretary

With banks hesitant to issue kisan credit cards (KCC) to livestock and dairy farmers, Animal Husbandry Secretary Atul Chaturvedi on Thursday said he has taken up the issue with his counterpart in the finance ministry to fix target for banks for issuing KCC to this category of farmers.

For the financial year 2021-22, the government has raised the farm credit target to Rs 16.5 lakh crore, from Rs 15 lakh crore in 2020-21. Usually, KCC is given to farmers growing crops. But, the same was extended to fisheries, livestock and dairy farmers in 2018.

“Obviously, banks take time to get adjusted to new area of credit extension. They are not used to it. There are initial hesitations which we are trying to overcome with the help of banks,” Chaturvedi told reporters commenting on the Budget announcements.

The department is coordinating with banks to remove their apprehensions about issuance of KCC to livestock and dairy farmers, he said.

Since 2018, about 6 lakh KCCs have been issued to dairy farmers associated with milk cooperative across the country as part of a special drive taken under the Aatmanirbhar Bharat package, he added.

The secretary said the KCCs were issued to these dairy farmers only after the concerned milk cooperatives gave an undertaking that they supply milk to them.

“About 1 crore dairy farmers are associated with cooperatives across the country. Of which, over 52 lakh farmers had filled up forms and submitted to banks.

“Already, 6 lakh dairy farmers have been given KCCs,” he said adding that the department is coordinating with banks for the rest.

The secretary said that higher farm credit target has been set for the next fiscal in the Budget 2021.

He added that the effort is to reach more livestock and dairy farmers, and he approached the finance ministry to allocate a fixed target to banks so that they are “forced” to issue KCCs to more number of livestock and dairy farmers.

He also said the livestock and dairy sector contributed 33 per cent in the country”s gross domestic produce and, accordingly, the credit should be made available to the sector.

According to experts, banks are hesitant in issuing KCC to livestock and dairy farmers in the absence of collateral.

The secretary said there has been a substantial increase in budget for the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying for the 2021-22 fiscal. Much focus has been given on boosting infrastructure, breed development and disease control initiatives to not only increase the local production but also create job opportunities and export revenue, he added.

Source : PTI Feb 4,2021

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