The government has launched a two month special drive, in mission mode, for providing Kisan Credit Cards (KCC) to 1.5 crore dairy farmers belonging to milk unions and milk producing companies, an official statement said on Monday.

The campaign will run from June 1 to July 31, the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying statement said.

The Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying, in association with the Department of Financial Services, has already circulated relevant circulars and KCC application format to all State Milk Federations and milk unions for implementing the same on a mission mode, it said.

Prime Minister's Atma Nirbhar Bharat package for farmers

Overloaded India
Milk containers hang from the windows of a passenger train.Reuters

The special drive to provide KCCs to 1.5 crore dairy farmers is part of the Prime Minister's Atma Nirbhar Bharat package for farmers. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had, on May 15, announced that 2.5 crore new farmers will be covered under the KCC scheme. This will provide additional liquidity of Rs 5 lakh crore in the hands of farmers, who are suffering from the recent downturn of the economy.

Under the dairy cooperative movement, approximately 1.7 crore farmers are associated with 230 milk unions in the country.

In the first phase of this campaign, the target is to cover all farmers who are members of dairy cooperative societies and associated with different milk unions and who do not have KCC, said the statement.

Lending helping hands to farmers


Farmers who already have KCC based on their land ownership can get their KCC credit limit enhanced, though interest subvention shall be available only to the extent of Rs 3 lakh, according to the statement.

Although the general limit for KCC credit without collateral remains Rs 1.6 lakh, the case of farmers whose milk is directly procured by milk unions falls under tie-up arrangements between the producers and processing units without any intermediaries, and hence the credit limits without collateral can be up to Rs 3 lakh. This will ensure more credit availability for dairy farmers associated with milk unions as well as assuring repayment of loans to banks, according to the department.

As the dairy sector is among the fastest-growing sectors of the economy with a CAGR of above 6 percent in the last 5 years, providing short term credit to dairy farmers for meeting their requirements for working capital, marketing, etc. will boost their productivity tremendously, said the statement.

(With inputs from IANS)