BoB Agri portfolio
Set to launch Baroda Kisan Agri Digital platform to cater to all the major needs of large farmers:
The Indian economy recorded a slower pace of growth in the last financial year, primarily on account of a noticeable slowdown in the agriculture sector. The area sown under both kharif and rabi declined due to spatially distributed and below normal rainfall in 2018-19. However, these developments did not prevent Bank of Baroda from offering its assistance to the small and large farmers. It has a targetoriented approach in this in the last FY.
VARIOUS AGRI PRODUCTS
The bank has a network of 1845 branches in rural and 1546 branches in semi-urban areas, which are oriented towards priority sector and agriculture lending. During FY 2019, the bank opened 22 new rural and semi-urban branches. It has moved to a more diversified rural lending strategy by focusing on new products across rural customer segments like farm mechanization, horticulture loans, warehouse receipt financing, food and adopting a communitybased lending model for the small farmers and communities.
B.R. Patel, general manager and chief, co-ordination for agriculture and financial inclusion, at the bank, says farmers with landholding of above 2 hectares are termed as large farmers by the bank and every scheme of the bank has different features based on the product. “For example,” says he, “Kisan Credit Cards are provided to farmers as per the scale of finance for cultivation of short-term and long-term crops. For processing of agriculture produce we have schemes under food and agro processing.”
During FY 2019, the bank issued 229,000 KCCs. Baroda Kisan RuPay Card, an ATM-enabled smartcard, was issued to 1.346 million farmers. To facilitate credit linkages of Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs), the bank tied up with Small Farmers’ Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC) for providing credit guarantee for collateral free loans and also as a preferred bank for Maharashtra.
AGRI TARGETS ACHIEVED
The bank’s agriculture advances grew by 14.2% yoy to `566.23 billion as on 31 March 2019. The bank achieved all mandatory targets under agriculture, priority sector, small and marginal farmers, micro enterprises, and loans to non-corporate farmers during FY 2019 and earned a net commission of `330 million by selling Priority Sector Lending Certificates (PSLC) worth `77 billion.
Says Patel: “We have served 30,683 accounts of large farmers in 2018-19. The total amount of credit extended to them is `11.28 billion. There were 27,163 accounts of large farmers, with lending amount being `8.87 billion a year ago.”
The bank also covered 8018 choupals with participation of 238,974 farmers through 1621 kisan melas, 339 health camps (soil / animal / farmer), 4884 farmer meetings and 310 financial literacy camps in FY 2019.
KISAN DIGITAL PLATFORM
The bank has developed various IT-based products for all its customers including Baroda Connect (internet banking), M Connect (mobile banking). “We have embarked on an ambitious project ‘Baroda Kisan Agri Digital’ platform, which will cater to all the major needs of the farmers including large farmers. Through this platform, the farmers will be provided with vital information i.e. weather information, crop health, soil moisture, pest infection information, mandi prices, crop specific advisor y, input buying ( l i ke s e e ds, fertilizers, pesticides), equipment renting, etc,” says Patel.
DEGROWTH IN NET NPA
The gross NPAs of large farmers increased to `933.5 million in 2018-19, recording a yoy growth of 7.26%. Business correspondents are incentivized for collections in crop loans. Patel mentions the net NPAs of large farmers came down to `431.4 million in 2018-19, recording a yoy degrowth of 11.89%.
B.R. Patel explains how BoB provides crop specific advisory to farmers using digital platform