Chittorgarh- Farmers were traditionally required to visit banks to apply for the Central Government's Kisan Credit Card scheme. However, recognizing the need for a more accessible approach, the government has launched a door-to-door campaign. This strategic initiative aims to maximize outreach and simplify the application process, ensuring that farmers can easily avail themselves of the benefits offered by the Kisan Credit Card scheme.
The KCC was introduced in 1998 based on a model scheme prepared by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development ( NABARD) to provide additional financial support to farmers.
In this regard, the Chittorgarh District Collector held a joint meeting with the Lead Bank Manager, Managing Director of the Cooperative, and the Agriculture Department. Instructions were given to encourage farmers in various Panchayat Samitis of the district to maximize the benefits of the KCC Scheme during the ongoing camps of the Vikasit Bharat Sankalp Yatra Abhiyan.
Currently, there are a total of 240,946 farmers in the district, with approximately 215,489 farmers already benefiting from the Kisan Credit Card Scheme. The aim is for all farmers to make the most of this scheme, enabling them to access funds at a low interest rate. This financial support can be utilized for purchasing advanced seeds, chemicals, and fertilizers to enhance agricultural production.
Under the scheme, farmers holding a Kisan Credit Card can avail a loan of up to Rs 3 lakh at a nominal interest rate of 4 percent. If the farmer repays the loan on time, the government provides a 3 percent interest subsidy. Additionally, the credit limit increases by 10 percent each subsequent year. This initiative allows farmers to easily secure a loan of Rs 1 to 1.80 lakh through the village cooperative society without the need for collateral.
To apply for a Kisan Credit Card, farmers previously had to visit the nearest bank branch. However, the government has simplified the process by digitizing it, starting from October 1. The campaign now operates door-to-door, with collaboration between banks, Panchayats, and district administration. The goal is to ensure that more farmers obtain credit cards within the next three months. Farmers need to provide a credit card application form, land documents, and identity proof such as a PAN card, Aadhar card, or driver's license.
Advantages of the Kisan Credit Scheme
Streamlined Disbursement Procedures: The scheme simplifies the process of disbursing credit, making it more accessible for farmers.
Flexibility in Cash and Kind: The Kisan Credit Scheme eliminates rigidities related to cash and kind, providing flexibility in how farmers access and utilize credit.
Crop-agnostic Loans: Farmers are not required to apply for a loan for every crop separately, reducing administrative hassles.
Assured Credit Availability: The scheme ensures a constant and assured availability of credit at any time, relieving farmers from the uncertainty of financial support.
Reduced Interest Burden: By offering credit whenever needed, the scheme helps in minimizing the interest burden on farmers, contributing to their financial well-being.
Convenient Purchase of Inputs: Farmers can conveniently buy seeds, fertilizers, and other agricultural inputs of their choice, enhancing their autonomy in making crucial farming decisions.
In a conversation with The Mooknayak, retired professor , Maharana Pratap University of Agriculture and Technology Dr Ramesh Chandra Tiwari says that the scheme was introduced to streamline the process of providing timely and sufficient credit to farmers, facilitating their essential agricultural purchases like seeds, fertilizers, and pesticides. Beyond input costs, the KCC extends its coverage to post-harvest expenses, consumption needs, and investments in various agricultural activities. The scheme is implemented by Commercial Banks, Small Finance Banks, and cooperatives.
One of the notable advantages of the KCC is the exemption from high-interest rates typically associated with loans from regular banks. Farmers benefit from lower interest rates, ranging from 2% to 4%, which aids in effective loan repayment, considering factors such as the crop's harvesting period and the loan approval date. The KCC scheme thus serves as a financial lifeline for farmers, supporting them throughout the agricultural cycle.