Considering the present agricultural scenario of Vidarbha, the Vidarbha Economic Development Council (VED) feels it is appropriate to set up a Regional Office of NABARD in Nagpur to look after the agricultural interests of this region rather than being a part of the Pune regional office, which is too remote from the distress-prone areas of Vidarbha to be of any great help, efficiency or efficacy in disbursement or for creating awareness of NABARD’s schemes for the farmers.
It may be noted that, in sharp contrast to Vidarbha’s distress, is the agricultural scenario of the adjoining States of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Telangana which are distress-free due to proper provision of agricultural facilities like irrigation, micro-irrigation, soft loans etc. to farmers, being provided to them by the Govt. through NABARD.
Unfortunately, in Maharashtra, the only Regional Office of NABARD is in Pune, with Sharad Pawar having set it up in western Maharashtra, to sort out the problems of that region, whereas, for every problem, the farmers from far-off districts of Vidarbha have to travel all the way to Pune for help in addressing or redressing of their problems. The distance and inconvenience caused are excessive, especially considering the financial position of the farmers.
The agricultural scenario and the accompanying debacle of suicides in the Vidarbha region are legend as they hit the headlines almost on a daily basis. Hence, today, the clarion call is to establish a Regional Office in Vidarbha, especially considering the distressing scenario of farmers’ suicides in the suicide-prone districts of Vidarbha. There is only a local, almost non-existent, office in Nagpur while to cater to the Vidarbha region what is needed is a full-fledged regional office so that assistance percolates through to the last farmer in the farthest district of Vidarbha.
NABARD has been helping to the extent it can and its support has been considerable, especially in Yavatmal – one of the most suicide-prone districts of Vidarbha – and other districts like Amravati, Akola, Washim, and Wardha. It has been encouraging farmers to engage in areas such as poultry, horticulture, dairy, warehousing, micro-irrigation, wasteland development, fisheries, with top priority to warehousing the infrastructure for which is extremely poor.
NABARD came into existence on 12 July 1982 by transferring the agricultural credit functions of RBI and refinance functions of the then Agricultural Refinance and Development Corporation (ARDC). It was dedicated to the service of the nation by the late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on 05 November 1982. Set up with an initial capital of Rs.100 crore, its paid up capital stood at Rs.12,580 crore as on 31 March 2019. Consequent to the revision in the composition of share capital between Government of India and RBI, NABARD today is fully owned by Government of India.
The Vision of NABARD is for fostering rural prosperity and its Mission to promote sustainable and equitable agriculture and rural development through participative financial and non-financial interventions, innovations, technology and institutional development for securing prosperity.
The Government of India encourages farmers in taking up projects in select areas by subsidizing a portion of the total project cost. All these projects aim at enhancing capital investment, sustained income flow and employment areas of national importance. If these are to be achieved pan India, then a Vidarbha Regional Office in Nagpur is an imperative.