The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Nabard eyes consultancy

Calcutta, Sept. 2: The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) is toying with the idea of floating a separate subsidiary to enter the consultancy services arena.

With many companies entering contract farming with the assistance of banks, consultancy services are expected to be in great demand, Nabard officials said. “Nabard is toying with the idea of creating a separate outfit for the business, depending on the opportunity. It will be the first subsidiary of Nabard,” they added.

The consultancy services division, named Nabard Consultancy Services (NCS), will seek registration with the Asian Development Bank, International Fund for Agricultural Development, Food and Agricultural Organisation, UNDP, Rabo Bank and Exim Bank, to expand its network abroad.

“Nabard will not only provide consultancy services in the country, but in overseas markets as well. The bank is looking at countries like Vietnam, Thailand, Bangladesh for providing its consultancy services,” officials said.

In the first year, NCS aims to earn a revenue of Rs 4-5 crore. “We expect to earn a handsome revenue the following year,” officials said.

The consultancy services will mainly target central and state governments, the Planning Commission, banks, non-governmental organisations, exporters and even corporates.

“Big corporates like Pepsico India have already introduced contract farming. There are others too. We will provide consultancy services to them so that they can get better products at the right price. McKinsey & Co has also advised the Bengal government to enter into contract farming. The governments of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu are also interested in contract farming, which will enable the rural population get a better price for their products,” Nabard officials said.

NCS comprises a three-member cell which will be draw expertise from its 2,500 officers. “Agriculture has always been an important tool of the Indian economy. The government is constantly talking about self-reliance in agriculture. The consultancy service will strengthen the government’s drive to increase agricultural output,” they said.

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