Sub: Scheme for financing Joint Liability Groups / Share croppers – “Bhoomihina
Agriculturist Loan & Resources Augmentation Model (BALARAM)”
To augment flow of credit to farmers cultivating land as share croppers a
scheme ‘BALARAM (Bhoomihina Agriculturist Loan And Resources
Augmentation Model) has been formulated in association with NABARD. The
target of the scheme is to form 1 lakh Joint Liability Groups covering at least 5 lakh
farmers mainly from among those who are share croppers using ATMA (Agricultural
Technology Management Agency) platform of the Department of Agriculture &
Farmers’ Empowerment, Govt. of Odisha.
As an agrarian State, almost 62% of the rural workforce of Odisha are engaged in
agriculture and allied activities. Agriculture sector still continues to be the major
source of livelihoods for a major chunk of the population of the state, although the
Gross Value Added (GVA) from the sector in Odisha is only 19.9 % in 2019-20.
During the current situation of the COVID-19 pandemic, the state can leverage the
potential of agricultural sector in reviving the economy. A number of migrant
labourers have returned to their homes in different regions of Odisha. In this context
the scheme seeks to provide better opportunities to the landless and marginal
farmers, among them, in the agriculture and allied sector for their gainful
employment. It is necessary to strengthen the farmers cultivating land as share
croppers in the state and enable them to avail loan through formal credit
institutions. Thi’s is expected to reduce the dependence of the sharecroppers on the
money lenders and other informal sources of credit, which is often at usurious rates
Usually, the share croppers who are landless or marginal cultivators do not have
access to most of the assistance and facilities provided by Government. The idea of
financing Joint Liability Group (JLG) i.e. a group of farmers (minimum 5) is an
existing concept and various models have been tried for financing of JLGs. In
‘SAMRUDHI’ the new Agriculture Policy-2020 of Govt. of Odisha, one of the
important measures of action is the promotion of a new model to facilitate
sharecroppers by providing institutional credit. Under the 5T initiative, there is a
“Task Team” with an objective of financing 5 lakhs sharecroppers in a five years
duration. Accordingly, the scheme “BALARAM” (Bhoomihina Agriculturist Loan and
Resources Augmentation Model) has been formulated.
Data of Sharecroppers
According to the estimation of the Agriculture Census 2015-16, there are 48.66 lakhs
operational holdings in Odisha. Out of this about 9.05 lakhs operational holdings are
of “leased in” tenancy status (2.83 lakhs are of “wholly leased in” and 6.22 lakhs are
of “partly leased in” tenancy status). In brief about 18.6% of operational holdings
are being operated by sharecroppers out of which 93.2% are small and marginal
Key Features –
To facilitate crop loan financing to share croppers in a more focused manner the
scheme envisages to use the structured platform of Agricultural Technology
Management Agency (ATMA) for programme implementation. The salient features of
the scheme are:
1. The farmers practising cultivation shall be the target group of crop loan
financing in JLG mode.
2. Crop Loans amounting to a maximum of Rs 1.60 lakh per group ( as per RBI
norms) shall be financed by the banks.
3. The eligibility of group financing shall depend upon the CIBIL (Credit
Information Bureau of India Ltd) score of individual farmers and other
4. The Krushak Sathis who are local progressive farmers shall play the prime
role of motivator in JLG formation assist the members in the documentation,
& liaise with the banks for crop loan financing.
5. Krushak Sathis shall assess the credit needs of the farmers for farming
activities in his/her Gram Panchayat and form a group of such farmers with
minimum 5 farmers.
6. The existing farmer data base containing information of the landless and
small / marginal farmers shall be made available to Krushak Sathis so as to
help them in identification of appropriate beneficiaries.
7. Capacity building of officials involved at various levels shall be taken up by the
8. Banks will have specific targets for financing of crop loans to JLG.
9. The VAW/AO will issue the Certificate of Cultivation (CoC) to the share
croppers in the prescribed format based on field verification (Annexure I).
10. After harvest & sale of produce in procurement centre of market yard, the
Krushak Sathi will guide the farmers in timely repayment of loan.
11. Technological interventions like a dedicated portal with access to all
stakeholders and real time monitoring of crop condition through Mobile App &
remote Sensing Technology shall be developed and used.
12. Incentives @Rs 2000/- per JLG shall be provided to Krushak Sathi in 3
tranches by NABARD i.e. Rs 1000/- on formation of the group & financing by
banks; Rs 500/- on repayment of loan by the JLG and finally Rs 500/- on
13. Institute on Management of Agricultural Extension (IMAGE) shall be the State
Nodal Agency for programme implementation.
14. Mid-term evaluation of the programme shall be taken up for course
Detailed Operational Guidelines for smooth implementation of the scheme
are being separately formulated.