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Dr. Prakash Bakshi has assumed charge as Chairman of the NABARD.

August 19, 2011 Leave a comment

Dr. Prakash Bakshi has assumed charge as Chairman of the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD).

A Doctorate in Economics, Dr. Bakshi started his career as a lecturer at Ravishankar University, Raipur, before joining the Reserve Bank of India in 1979. Before being appointed as NABARD Chairman, he was responsible for designing the Organisational and Business Restructuring of NABARD and spearheading initiatives in cooperative portfolios, core banking solutions for co-operative banks, rural infrastructure and direct financing.

Dr Bakshi was member of the team that designed the ‘Self Help Groups (SHGs) – Bank Linkage Programme’ which is today the largest and fastest growing micro finance programme of the World. He was also associated with the Committee on Cooperative Credit Structuring set up by the Government of India under Prof. Vaidyanathan and has negotiated with the Government of India, ADB, World Bank and KfW for funding the legal and institutional reforms for rural cooperatives.

IFPRI:: $7bn for asian farmers to adapt climate change

July 25, 2011 Leave a comment

The International Food Policy Research Institute (Ifpri) has called for an additional annual investment of $7 billion in agricultural productivity to help farmers adapt to climate change. It is estimated that climate change will reduce wheat yield 30% and rice 15%. Prices of these two essential cereals are projected to rise more than 100%. It will also drive almost 25 million children to malnourishment. The study, Climate change: impact on agriculture and costs of adaptation, was prepared by Ifpri for inclusion in two separate reports from the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank, both released recently at Bangkok. “Investments are needed in agricultural research, improved irrigation and rural roads to increase market access for poor farmers. Without new technology and adjustments by farmers, climate change will reduce irrigated wheat yields in 2050 by around 30% in developing countries compared to a no-climate change scenario. Irrigated rice yields will fall by 15%. Developing countries will be hit hardest by climate change and will face bigger declines in crop yields and production than industrialised countries, the study finds. “Agriculture is extremely vulnerable to climate change, because farming is so weather-dependent. Small-scale farmers in developing countries will suffer the most,” noted Mark Rosegrant, director of Ifpri’s environment and production technology division and report co-author.

NABARD :: Farmers to be charged higher for small farm credits.

July 25, 2011 Leave a comment

At a time when the government is pushing banks to go for financial inclusion, the NABARD has suggested that banks be allowed to extend small credit at higher rates. RBI should allow extension of micro credit at higher rates so that banks can at least meet their processing cost, according to Nabard Executive Director Prakash Bakshi. Banks work on thin margins as RBI has mandated that no bank can charge more than the prime lending rate for loans up to Rs 200,000. On the other hand, microfinance institutions (MFIs) charge between 25 per cent and 50 per cent, with their average lending rate hovering around 30 per cent. Bakshi said “there should be a level-playing field between regional rural banks (RRBs) and MFIs, which are free to fix their lending rates”. “MFIs are charging much more and nobody questions them. It is one policy intervention that is required immediately. You cannot force somebody to do business at 10 per cent when the cost is 15 per cent,” he said. “That is why the government is providing subsidy here”, admitted by Mr Bakshi. He agreed there was a problem of over-lending in some pockets of southern India, with too much money chasing too few people.