The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) is working closely with the West Bengal government for developing the rural infrastructure of the state, an official said on Wednesday.
State government additional chief secretary (finance) Manoj Pant said the NABARD had provided Rs 2,000 crore under the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund in the previous financial year.
Speaking at the 41st foundation day of NABARD in Kolkata, Pant said he expected the assistance to increase to Rs 2,500 crore this year.
Pant also said the state government was leveraging technology to raise agricultural productivity, adding that the performance of farmers' producer organisations (FPOs) and self-help groups (SHGs) had been satisfactory.
Citing the importance of NABARD, the official further said it could play an important role by helping in creating forward and backward linkages.
There have been certain challenges, including marketing of products, regarding FPOs and the SHGs, and handholding is required to fill the gaps, he added.
Stressing the need to remove asymmetry in information dissemination, Pant said 19 departments had been working closely with NABARD at present.
NABARD (West Bengal) chief general manager AR Khan said the apex regulatory body had provided nearly Rs 14,000 crore under various programmes, asserting that there would be a growth of 15-16 per cent this year.
Last fiscal, NABARD refinanced Rs 750 crore to the microfinance institutions in the state and also collaborated with IIT Kharagpur for incubating startups in the agriculture sector, Khan pointed out.