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Saturday, September 23, 2006

Farmers to get enhanced credit

The State Bank of India aims to bring in more number of farmers functioning in niche agricultural segments in the district under the thrust areas of bank finance with the help of various departments and agencies, during the current fiscal.

X. Arulsamy, Regional Manager, State Bank of India, said an enhanced credit would be extended to the farmers who wanted to take up the cultivation of tissue culture banana and high-value horticultural activities.

To promote the cultivation of tissue culture banana, the scale of finance would be enhanced from Rs.25,000 per acre, which was extended to ordinary banana cultivation, to Rs.34,000 for every acre of tissue culture banana.

"Our aim is to convert more wasteland into cultivable land," he added.

The enhanced credit would be offered towards establishment of rural godowns also to help the farmers store their agricultural produces till they get remunerative prices.

"It would help them avoid distress sale," he added.

Under `Produce Marketing Loan' scheme, the bank would extend credit to a maximum of Rs.five lakh to the farmers to store their produces at their houses, who, otherwise, found it difficult to transport their produces to godowns situated at distant places, till they find a conducive market.

He said that loans were extended for technology upgrading of conventional industries situated in the `match and matchbox cluster' at Kovilpatti under a scheme called `Match Plus.'

"We provide sub-prime lending rate of interest under the scheme, which was calculated using a modified `risk matrix pricing' system," he said.

For the salt industry in Tuticorin, the bank has come out with a `salt pan' scheme, which offers credit as term loan and working capital, towards preparation of field, manufacturing and trading of salt.

"So far, the bank had extended Rs one crore in the current fiscal under the scheme," the Regional Manager said.

Mr. Arulsamy said the bank would be financing 20 self-help groups near Tiruchendur for setting up seaweed cultivation using `monoline culture'.

"We would give Rs 74.40 lakh as loans in toto to the 20 groups," he said.

Source: The Hindu

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