September 27, 2016 1:20:00 am
Banks in Gujarat are seeing good off-take in agricultural loans. The agricultural advances extended to farmers in the state stood at Rs 69,100 crore at the end of June 2016, which is 11 percent more when compared to the quantum of credit during the same period, last year.
The agriculture advances during the first quarter of 2016-17 financial year was over Rs 7,000 crore more when compared to Rs 62,081 crore in June 2015, states the State Level Bankers’ Committee release last week.
“In the state, the growth in agriculture credit for the quarter ended June 2016 is about 12.47 percent more compared to March, 2016. The growth could have been even more, if the monsoon had arrived on time,” said Vikramaditya Singh Khichi, convener of SLBC.
“Now, good agriculture credit off-take can be expected in the subsequent quarter of the year, since the state has received satisfactory monsoon from July onwards. As the rains arrived late, there has been good disbursements in August and September as well,” Khichi added about agriculture loans that form part of “priority” lending for banks and are made available to farmers in form of crop loans, for purchasing agricultural equipment, constructing agriculture infrastructure and other ancillary activities.
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This year, rains arrived late and the monsoon activity has stretched into the September. Gujarat currently has a 18 percent rainfall deficit, after it registered an average rainfall of 652 mm. Only six of the 33 districts – Valsad in south, Gir-Somnath, Bhavnagar and Jamnagar in Saurashtra region, Dahod in east and Aravalli in North Gujarat – have got over 100 percent rainfall.
Despite the shortfall in rains in several areas, farmers in Gujarat have not only taken more loans, but have also gone ahead with the sowing of their respective Kharif crops and have covered more area than what they did last year. According to the data shared by the agriculture department on Monday, the total area covered under the Kharif crop this year is 86.23 lakh ha. This is not only more than 85.04 lakh ha sown last year, but is 99.44 percent of the area, if a three-year average for this season is considered.
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