Fund to help milk co-ops expand capacity

The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development will soon get going on a Rs 8,000-crore fund that the finance minister announced in this year’s budget to support the dairy sector. Under the Dairy Processing and Infrastructure Development Fund, Nabard is the nodal agency to finance projects over a period of three years.

Benefits of this fund:

After Operation Flood which ended in 1990, this is the biggest dairy development programme. It will surely help small dairy cooperatives in states like Punjab, Haryana and Bihar where there is a huge scope for expansion. The fund would help dairy cooperative in setting up modern milk-processing infrastructure, expanding product portfolio and ensuring optimum value for their products.

The significance of this move:

NABARD targets to sanction proposals to create new milk processing capacity of 27 million litres per day in the cooperative sector this year. With this investment, the milk processing capacity (in the cooperative sector) would increase from the current 66 million litres per day to 92.6 million litres per day. Further, the bulk milk-chilling capacity would go up from 48 million litres per day to 63 million litres.

The dairy processing infrastructure of cooperatives needs modernisation and capacity enhancement, and with most cooperatives sharing their profits with milk producers, they need support.

Nabard:

It is an apex development and specialized bank established on 12 July 1982 by an act by the parliament of India. Its main focus is to uplift rural India by increasing the credit flow for the elevation of agriculture & rural non-farm sector.

It was established based on the recommendations of the Committee set up by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) under the chairmanship of Shri B. Sivaraman.

It replaced the Agricultural Credit Department (ACD) and Rural Planning and Credit Cell (RPCC) of Reserve Bank of India, and Agricultural Refinance and Development Corporation (ARDC).

It has been accredited with “matters concerning policy, planning and operations in the field of credit for agriculture and other economic activities in rural areas in India”.

Important functions:

It Serves as an apex financing agency for the institutions providing investment and production credit for promoting the various developmental activities in rural areas.

It takes measures towards institution building for improving absorptive capacity of the credit delivery system, including monitoring, formulation of rehabilitation schemes, restructuring of credit institutions, training of personnel, etc.

It regulates the cooperative banks and the RRB’s, and manages talent acquisition through IBPS CWE.

NABARD is also known for its ‘SHG Bank Linkage Programme’ which encourages India’s banks to lend to SHGs.

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