Kerala’s Ministry of Agriculture has introduced a short-term credit program for farmers who need cash to complete pending agricultural projects. Loan support would be provided by the major cooperative credit societies as well as the Kerala Gramin Bank. The plan is expected to go into effect from next week.
The initiative, according to department officials, will only be available for agricultural use for one year. The interest rate was set at 6.4%, which is lower than that offered by public and private sector banks for similar projects. Farmers can apply for support from Krishi Bhavans.
Crop insurance programs will be offered to more farmers to deal with crop losses that occur during the monsoon. Floods, pests, landslides, lightning, storms, hailstorms and cyclones are all covered by the comprehensive insurance policy. Officials said the program also covers post-harvest losses within a certain time frame.
Meanwhile, in light of the COVID-19 situation and the challenges of marketing agricultural products, major farmer organizations in the district have requested a modest increase in the credit limit. According to them, the three lakh restriction on most low-interest financing programs will not be acceptable help for farmers who have already started large-scale farming on rented properties.
Compensation for those who have lost crops due to wildlife attacks or natural disasters has yet to be addressed in many villages, officials said. According to them, the ministry’s request to submit such grievances online is proving difficult for many farmers who do not have access to digital devices.