Fisheries and aquaculture activities are an important source of food, nutrition and employment generation and also an important source of livelihood for 2.8 crore fishermen. In the last decade the sector has exhibited growth in a consistent manner and one of the key aspects that has gained attention is availability of institutional finance to small scale fisheries’ stakeholders.
In order to resolve pressing on-ground issues, a one day “National Conference on KCC for Fisheries” is thus being jointly organized by Department of Fisheries (GoI) and Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying (GoI) on 4th September 2023 at Yashwantrao Chavan Centre, Mumbai, Maharashtra under the Chairmanship of Union Minister, MoFHA&D – Parshottam Rupala. The other dignitaries present during the event will be Minister of State, MoFAH&D – Dr. L. Murugan, Minister of State, Ministry of Finance, Government of India, Dr. Bhagwat Kishanrao Karad, Minister for Fisheries, Govt. of Maharashtra – Shri Sudhir Mungantiwar, Minister for Revenue, Animal Husband and Dairy Development, Govt. of Maharashtra –Shri Radhakrishna Eknathrao Vikhe-Patil.
Representatives from Fisheries Department of States/UTs, NFDB and other relevant Departments/Ministries, KCC beneficiaries, fishermen, fish farmers, entrepreneurs and other stakeholders from across the nation are expected to participate. The program is being organised in hybrid mode and is expected to have roughly 500 participants.
During the event, Minister, MoFAH&D (GoI) will distribute KCC cards to eligible fishers and fishermen. He will interact with them and address the gathering in accordance with the discussion during the conference and the way forward from welfare and policy perspectives. A special address will be made by representatives from RBI, DFS and NABARD. During the program, guidelines/SOPs on KCC in the vernacular language will be shared. The interaction between all the stakeholders is expected to pave way for addressing issues and give long term and practical solutions for seamless flow of available credit with simplified processes, checks and balances.
The Kisan Credit Card is a powerful tool for financial inclusion and collaboration where activities like agriculture, fisheries, animal husbandry and dairying are treated as vital components for livelihood and income generation for a large numbers of poor and marginal farmers and fishers. It represents the determination of the Central and State entities to support its farmers and promote equitable growth.
Kisan Credit Card (KCC) scheme was extended by the Government of India (GoI) in the 2018-19 to fisheries and animal husbandry farmers to help them meet their working capital requirements. Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued guidelines on KCC to fishers and fish farmers on 4th February 2019. Subsequently, to streamline the process of credit delivery through KCC to the Animal Husbandry and Fisheries farmers, Guidelines were issued in consultation with the stakeholders including Ministry of AHDF, RBI, National Bank for Agriculture and Rural development (NABARD) and Indian Bank’s Association (IBA).
In order to mobilise beneficiaries and boost uptake of KCC, Department of Fisheries (DoF, GoI) has been pursuing all States/UTs and State Level Bankers Committee (SLBC) to sensitize and disseminate information amongst the fishers and fish farmers. In spite of various challenges, all the States/UTs and SLBC are being pursued to enhance awareness and visibility about the usefulness of the KCC facility amongst the potential beneficiaries through different campaign modes and outreach and promotional activities. Through these continued efforts, 1.49 lakh KCCs have been issued till date to fishers and fish farmers across the country.
A special drive for mobilization of KCC applications was organized from 1st June to 31st December 2020 by DoF. This was followed by a nationwide campaign launched on 15th November 2021 to 31st July 2022 under the leadership of Minister of Fisheries, AHD. “Nationwide AHDF KCC Campaign” was resumed 15th September 2022 till 15th March 2023 and is now continuing from 1st May 2023 till 31st March 2024. Special KCC campaigns were also organized during Sagar Parikrama program in coastal districts. Through these campaigns, DoF (GoI) endeavours to understand the bottlenecks and challenges in extending KCC facility by the financial and banking institutions while also attempting to understand the beneficiary perspective regarding their problems and constraints faced.
PIB Mumbai /Mahesh/NJ/DY