Flow of Institutional Credit in Indian Agriculture: Growth and Performance.
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Institutional credit plays an important role in agricultural development as it enables the farmers to undertake new investments and/or use of modern agricultural technologies for enhancing agricultural production. The emphasis on the institutional credit is being placed since the beginning of planned development era in India. As a result, several institutional agencies such as cooperatives, regional rural banks (RRBs), scheduled commercial banks (SCBs) etc. are involved in disbursement of short and long term institutional credit. Besides, acceptance of Rural Credit Survey Committee Report (1954), nationalization of major commercial banks (1969 and 1980), establishment of RRBs (1975), establishment of National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) (1982), the financial sector reforms (1991 onwards) etc. led to manifold increase in the flow of institutional credit in agriculture. Similarly, during post reform period, Special Agricultural Credit Plan (1994-95), initiating of Kisan Credit Cards (KCCs) (1998-99), and Doubling Agricultural Credit Plan within three years (2004) placed emphasis on increase flow of institutional credit. No doubt, these policy level changes have increased flow of institutional credit for agriculture, but many changes have also taken place among the various institutional sources in distribution of agricultural credit. It is also argued that large chunk of institutional credit has gone to those states, where green revolution took place and states have higher agricultural productivities than lower productivity states. The study is a step in this direction to examine the growth and pattern in flow of institutional credit in Indian agriculture by various agencies. The study is mainly based on various secondary data sources such as Handbook of Statistics of Indian Economy published by the Reserve Bank of India, Agricultural Statistics at a Glance, Economic Survey of India, etc. during 1980-81 to 2011-12. The structure of the sources of credit has witnessed a clear shift in favor of commercial banks. The share of investment credit in total credit has also declined, which may restrict the agricultural sector to realize its full potential. The study also points that institutional credit delivery to the agriculture sector still continues to be inadequate as about 30% of credit is financed by non-institutional agencies, which includes money lenders. SCBs are still hesitant to disburse agricultural credit to small and marginal farmers. There also exist large inter-state variations in distribution of agricultural credit per hectare and KCCs. Finally, the study concludes that efficiency in the credit delivery system in rural areas should be improved by revamping cooperative credit structure. Also, concerted efforts should also be made to increase the flow of indirect institutional credit for development of infrastructures such as irrigation, electricity, marketing, storage, extension services, etc which will go a long way in improving the productivity of the agricultural sector.
- Economic Studies-Mphil Thesis 
- Mphil Thesis