Twenty farmer clubs and 128 SHGs across 13 villages in Diyun Circle got to meet NERCORMP and NABARD experts across two days on September 2-3, 2018 at the Circuit House auditorium – all thanks to AMYAA that took the pains to organize a ‘Meet With Experts on Animal Husbandry and Dairy Farming’ programme for the benefit of the stakeholders.
The panel of experts was comprised of N. Sukajit, District Project Director, NERCORMP, Kamal Roy, District Development Manager, NABARD, N. Betterson, NRMO, Daiahun Thonglam, IDO, AK Pandey, Agriculture Development Officer and Biraj Kumar, SBI Branch Manager, Diyun.
It was a two-way interaction between the experts on the one hand and the members of the farmer clubs and SHGs on the other. The panelists one by one placed their expert opinions before the audience before taking questions from them. NERCORMP and NABARD being implemented in parallel, the experts said that their respective interventions at times might overlap by way of “convergence” as they more or less operate in similar settings and domains.
Sukajit gave the opening remarks explaining the purpose of the ‘Meet with Experts’ programme and how it was going to be conducted before giving a brief background of NERCORMP. He said, “It has been 7 years now since the NERCORMP was implemented in Changlang district while it has been around 4 years in Diyun Circle. NERCORMP is critical for further development of the villages. However, it is supposed to provide only hand-holding support on the way to achieving sustainability in terms of income generation activities and natural resources management. It is also expected to help imbibe in people the mindset similar to those of development and sustainability seekers.”
While stressing on the need of coming up with success stories, he also informed the audience of the impending visit of the NERCORMP Evaluation Team slated for September 15 to October 2, 2018. This team shall look to evaluate the impact of NERCORMP it has had so far on the people here.
At the start of his address, Kamal Roy expressed skepticism due to the fact that although there are 20 farmer clubs sanctioned in Diyun Circle, there is none that could establish bank linkage for taking up activities. Encouraging the farmer club members, he explained to them the 5 principles of farmer clubs and said, “The first principle is to establish bank linkage, avail credit and take up activities; the second principle pertains to adopting and utilizing scientific methods and technology in farming; the third principle is rooted in increase of production and productivity; thereby effect income generation; and finally, repayment of bank loans on or before time.”
Reminding the audience of PM Narendra Modi’s vision of doubling the income of farmers by 2022, Mr. Roy told the audience of his dream too – that is, formation of Farmer Producer Organization
or FPO in the next 2 years. He explained the importance of FPOs and said that among many things it will increase the bargaining power of farmers whereby they will get the price they deserve for their produce, help in branding and also take up large activities such as small scale industries. He also enlightened the audience by telling them about NABARD exposure visits and Joint Liability Group (JLG) meant especially for landless farmers who can work by acquiring lands on lease.
Further, Mr. Roy reiterating the importance of nurturing relationship with banks, he said, “Maintaining relationship with banks in terms of timely repayment of loans and not defaulting is the key to the success of farmer clubs and SHGs as the underlying idea is rooted in credit linked schemes. It first initiates the saving habit in members who then take up income generating activities and at the same time avail credit, eventually to pay back loans on or before time.”
Mr. Roy concluded by urging the audience to get soil testing done before telling the audience about the KVK (Krishi Vigyan Kendra) at Namsai, 30 KM from Diyun and how farmer clubs can invite resource persons for training and other related purposes. He also enlightened them about relevant schemes such as DEDS (Diary Entrepreneurship Development Scheme), NLM (National Livestock Mission) and CMKRY (Chief Minister Krishi Rinn Yojona).
The ADO, meanwhile, helped the audience understand KCC (Kishan Credit Card) loans and how his department is successfully implementing an agriculture related project in the villages. He said, “KCC loans are in actuality interest free loans but they have to be repaid back within 1 year.”
Finally, Biraj Kumar, Diyun SBI Branch Manager, informed the audience about MCLR (Marginal Cost of Funds based Lending Rate) and that banks are obligated to disburse 18% of bank loans in the agri sector. He concluded by saying that the bank rates for loans would be fixed at 11.85%.
he panel of experts concluded their visit with field visits.