Agriculture credit disbursement meets 42 per cent of target

Banks and co-operatives have together disbursed a total of Rs1,38,000 crore in farm loans in the first half of 2009-10, meeting 42 per cent of the target set by the government for the whole financial year.

According to an official statement released on Thursday, "Rs1.38 lakh crore has been disbursed to farmers across the country as agriculture credit up to September 2009. The target to be achieved during 2009-10 is to the tune of Rs3,25,000 crore."

The share of various institutions in farm loans offered till September is Rs92,595.08 crore (commercial banks), Rs27,704.85 crore (co-operatives) and Rs17,531.31 crore (regional rural banks).

The government has set a target for disbursing Rs2,50,000 crore of farm loans for commercial banks and co-operatives and regional rural banks to extend credit of Rs45,000 crore and Rs30,000 crore respectively this fiscal.

At present, the interest rate on farm loans is 7 per cent per annum.

Agriculture credit flow since 2003-04 has consistently exceeded the target and increased from Rs86,981 crore in 2003-04 to Rs2,87,148 crore in 2008-09.

As per the agriculture ministry's advice to launch an intensive branch- and village-level campaign to provide Kisan Credit Cards to all eligible and willing farmers in a time-bound manner, 85.3 million cards have been issued by state governments up till July.