She also called for protecting the returns of farmers, who are already growing millet
Nirmala Sitharaman, Finance Minister directed National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) to sensitise farmers to shift towards more remunerative but less water-guzzling crops, especially millets, pulses and oilseeds.
With the production and marketing of Shree Anna being a national priority in the International Year of Millets 2023, Sitharaman told Nabard to encourage farmers to enhance the area covered under millets.
She also called for protecting the returns of farmers, who are already growing millets.
At a review meeting of Nabard, the FM also advised the institution to work towards ensuring efficiency and outcomes at the ground level with improvement in rural income as the top priority, as mentioned in Nabard’s statement.
Sitharaman said that improving the digital capabilities of rural financial institutions, including regional rural banks (RRBs), be facilitated on a priority basis for augmenting financial inclusion.
“NABARD should take steps to augment rural credit by correcting regional imbalances for better productivity in rural areas, including in the non-farm sector,” she added.
She told Nabard to work towards rural income generation as a top priority.
The FM also chaired another meeting of the consultative committee attached to the finance ministry on ‘Financial Inclusion: Progress and prospects’, in Delhi.
There, Sitharaman suggested identifying credit-deficient districts in each state and carrying out special credit outreach camps in those districts.