Bhubaneswar: At a time when COVID-19 has affected all walks of life including agricultural entrepreneurship, the state government is providing subsidies and facilitating disbursal of loans to make them self-reliant or ‘Atmanirbhar’, said experts at a webinar.
Speaking at the webinar on “Banking Tips for Agricultural Entrepreneurs’, organised by Odisha Corporate Foundation (OCF), an NGO, Bhubaneswar zonal manager of Punjab National Bank (PNB) Ashwini Kumar said, “In order to accelerate loan disbursal, particularly to agricultural entrepreneurs, separate branches have been set up at Cuttack, Bhubaneswar, Balasore, Sambalpur, Berhampur. Subsidies upto 40 per cent are provided to general entrepreneurs while women and indigenous farmers can get subsidy benefit upto 50 per cent on loans.”
PNB’s circle head Shivananda Bhanja said farmers, voluntary organisations and self-help groups can avail upto 75 per cent subsidy on farm loans for projects related to pisciculture, poultry farming and cattle breeding.
He further said there is huge scope for business in cattle breeding in small-towns where dairy farms are not ‘Atmanirbhar’ in milk production. Besides, meat (chicken), eggs and fish are also much sought-after products. Investment in these sectors will generate ample profit and employment opportunities, he added.
Deputy general manager, Agri-Business Unit, State Bank of India (SBI), Sunil B Khairnar said production and conservation of agricultural produce are equally important and will benefit farmers in the long-term. Due to shortage of cold storages, a good amount of farm produce goes waste. To address this, the SBI has special schemes for setting up tech-equipped cold storages and the bank will lend loans to bear 75 per cent of the project cost, he added.
Odisha Corporate Foundation’s Dhaneswar Sahu presided over the webinar. Agricultural entrepreneurs, youth and chartered accountants were among the participants.