New short-term credit program for farmers in Kerala

The Ministry of Agriculture has developed a short-term credit program for farmers who need funds to complete ongoing farming activities. All primary credit unions and the Kerala Gramin Bank will expand loan support. The diet is expected to be presented next week.

Department officials say the program will only be available for agricultural use for a period of one year. The interest rate was set at 6.4%, which is lower than that of such schemes in public and private sector banks. Farmers can contact Krishi Bhavans for help.

Crop insurance programs will be promoted to more farmers to deal with unexpected crop losses during the monsoon. The all-risk insurance policy will cover yield losses due to floods, pests, landslides, lightning, storm, hail and cyclone. Post-harvest losses during the specified period are also covered by the program, officials said.

Demand from farmers

Meanwhile, the main farmers’ organizations in the district have called for a reasonable increase in the credit limit given the COVID-19 crisis and the difficulties in marketing agricultural products. The ₹ 3 lakh limit set on most low-interest credit programs will not be a reasonable help for farmers who have already ventured into large-scale farming on leased land, they say.

Officials add that compensation for those who lost their crops in wildlife attacks or natural disasters has yet to be addressed in many villages. The ministry’s call to submit such grievances online is proving difficult for many farmers who do not have access to digital devices, they say.

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