GoI releases Rs 3,971 crores for micro-irrigation projects

On November 20, 2020, Government of India sanctioned a loan of 3,971 crores of rupees for micro irrigation projects in Tamil Nadu. This is one of the biggest loans being sanctioned for the state of Tamil Nadu. The loan has been sanctioned at subsidised interest rate under micro irrigation fund. The micro irrigation fund was created within the National bank for Agriculture and Rural Development, NABARD. The micro irrigation funds are used only to implement micro irrigation projects

Background

In 2019-20 the Government of India created the micro irrigation Fund with a Corpus of 5,000 crores of Rupees. The fund was created to provide subsidized loan to the states to expand their coverage of micro irrigation.

So far under this fund, 1,357 crores of Rupees has been approved to Tamilnadu. The other states that have received the funds are Haryana of 790 crores of Rupees, Gujarat of 764 crores of Rupees, Andhra Pradesh of 616 crores and West Bengal of 276 crores. Also, Punjab and Uttarakhand have received financial support under the funds.

Under the micro irrigation funds financial assistance is being extended to the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana. The scheme is also called per drop more crop scheme that encourages farmers to adopt micro irrigation systems.

Micro irrigation

India is currently working under the target of bringing 100 lakh hectares of land under micro irrigation in 5 years. Though, there are several options of micro irrigation systems, the Government of India mainly focuses on drip irrigation and sprinkler irrigation systems. In the year 2019-20, more than 11 lakh farmers were benefited from drip and sprinkler irrigation systems.

Funds under NABARD

Apart from the micro irrigation fund, there are several other funds being operationalised by NABARD. They are rural infrastructure development fund, alternative investment funds, long term irrigation fund, funds to provide loans to warehouses, cold storage, loans for food parks, etc.

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