NABARD is the apex Development Financial Institution with a mandate for promoting agriculture and rural development through financial and non-financial development interventions. NABARD extends refinance support to banks (Commercial Banks, Cooperative Banks and Regional Rural Banks) for their credit to agriculture, including fisheries at concessional rate of interest, in order to augment the resources available for credit expansion. During 2015-16, NABARD disbursed Rs. 370.52Cr as refinance to various banks under fisheries.
Under the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF), NABARD supports State Governments for development of infrastructure in agri-allied sector, including fisheries. Cumulatively, an amount of Rs. 1097cr has so far been disbursed under fisheries.
NABARD had pioneered the concept of Self Help Groups in 1992, which has now become the largest and most cost effective micro credit programme in the world, with over 8 million SHGs covering 100 million poor household. SHG-Bank linkage programme has been, to a great extent, able to free rural poor from the clutches of money lenders. SHG is a popular mode of financial support among fisher folk, especially women.
Joint Liability Group (JLG) is another micro credit innovation introduced by NABARD aimed at supporting livelihood and income generating activities through banks credit, without collateral security. Cumulatively, 17.2 lakh JLGs have so far been linked with bank credit. Many banks have adopted JLG model for financing groups of fishermen and fish farmers for undertaking small investments.
The concept of Producer Organizations (PO) is introduced to improve the bargaining capacity of small producers in production and marketing. NABARD supports Producer Organizations with credit and non-credit interventions. Under the government of India scheme viz., Produce Fund, NABARD has supported promotion of more than 2200 Farmer Producer Organizations in partnership with other agencies. PO is a viable model for small fish producers in mobilizing their inputs and aggregating their produce for effective marketing.
NABARD prepares Unit Cost for investment activities under agriculture and allied sectors, including fisheries, which is a comprehensive document containing the indicative cost for financing an activity along with techno-financial norms. This serves as the reference guide or ready reckoner for banks while financing. Similarly, NABARD is also involved in finalizing the Scale of Finance fixed short term loans for agriculture (including fisheries). NABARD prepared model bankable projects for the guidance of banks and entrepreneurs. From its R &D Fund, NABARD supports applied research, technology transfer, dissemination etc.
Source: Aqua Aquaria