Fund SHGs making plastic alternatives: CM

Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami on Thursday urged the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) to offer loans to self-help groups that are making alternatives to plastics as well as to companies manufacturing banned plastic products, to help them shift to other businesses.

“From January 1, 2019 the State government has banned use of single-use plastics. This has increased the demand for alternatives,” he said, speaking at the inaugural session of the State credit seminar 2019-20, organised by NABARD. The Chief Minister also released the NABARD’s state focus paper 2019-2020.

According to the paper, the State has an exploitable credit potential of ₹2,26,906 crore in 2019-2020, an increase of 9.8% over the projections made for 2018-19 (₹2,06,684 crore). Of this, credit to agriculture sector is estimated at ₹1,46,516 crore (64.57%), followed by MSME (₹43,036 crore) and other sectors (export, education, housing, renewable energy, micro credit) at ₹37,353 crore.

Mr. Palaniswami said that the State has won the Krishi Karman award four times and the food production has surpassed 100 lakh tonnes five times from 2011-2012 to 2017-2018.

The State is doing well in terms of Prime Minister crop insurance scheme and so far 16.39 lakh farmers have registered under the scheme in 2018-19, which has increased by 2.41 lakh farmers when compared to last year.

Mr. Palaniswami added that the State recently released food processing policy and efforts are on to set up mega food parks in 10 districts.

According to him, approval has been granted for building a new regulator across the Coleroon at Upper Anicut, replacing the 182-year-old brick masonry structure which was partially damaged following heavy discharge of water in Cauvery for 30 days last year.

Mr. Palaniswami said the cost of the project is ₹387.60 crore and NABARD has planned to give a loan of ₹368 crore.

Padma Raghunathan, Chief General Manager, NABARD pointed out that in Tamil Nadu presently only 4.6% of total agricultural produce is processed and nearly 35% of fruits and vegetables are lost in storage and transport due to lack of adequate cold chain and processing facilities.

To address the issue Tamil Nadu government is implementing the project “supply chain management of fruits, vegetables and other perishables‟ with support of ₹398.75 crore from NABARD.

Ms. Raghunathan said the NABARD will be willing to support eligible designated food parks under food processing fund.

Mr. Palaniswami presented awards in the category of best performing farmer producer companies, financial inclusion, cooperative banks and regional rural banks.

Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam and S.P. Velumani Minister for Municipal Administration, Rural Development participated.

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