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Sub: Scheme for financing Joint Liability Groups / Share croppers - "Bhoomihina 
Agriculturist Loan & Resources Augmentation Model (BALARAM)" 
To augment flow of credit to farmers cultivating land as share croppers a 
scheme 'BALARAM (Bhoomihina Agriculturist Loan And Resources 
Augmentation Model) has been formulated in association with NABARD. The 
target of the scheme is to form 1 lakh Joint Liability Groups covering at least 5 lakh 
farmers mainly from among those who are share croppers using ATMA (Agricultural 
Technology Management Agency) platform of the Department of Agriculture & 
Farmers' Empowerment, Govt. of Odisha. 
Introduction
As an agrarian State, almost 62% of the rural workforce of Odisha are engaged in 
agriculture and allied activities. Agriculture sector still continues to be the major 
source of livelihoods for a major chunk of the population of the state, although the 
Gross Value Added (GVA) from the sector in Odisha is only 19.9 % in 2019-20. 
During the current situation of the COVID-19 pandemic, the state can leverage the 
potential of agricultural sector in reviving the economy. A number of migrant 
labourers have returned to their homes in different regions of Odisha. In this context 
the scheme seeks to provide better opportunities to the landless and marginal 
farmers, among them, in the agriculture and allied sector for their gainful 
employment. It is necessary to strengthen the farmers cultivating land as share 
croppers in the state and enable them to avail loan through formal credit 
institutions. Thi's is expected to reduce the dependence of the sharecroppers on the 
money lenders and other informal sources of credit, which is often at usurious rates 
of interest. 
Background
Usually, the share croppers who are landless or marginal cultivators do not have 
access to most of the assistance and facilities provided by Government. The idea of 
financing Joint Liability Group (JLG) i.e. a group of farmers (minimum 5) is an 
existing concept and various models have been tried for financing of JLGs. In 
'SAMRUDHI' the new Agriculture Policy-2020 of Govt. of Odisha, one of the

important measures of action is the promotion of a new model to facilitate 
sharecroppers by providing institutional credit. Under the 5T initiative, there is a 
"Task Team" with an objective of financing 5 lakhs sharecroppers in a five years 
duration. Accordingly, the scheme "BALARAM" (Bhoomihina Agriculturist Loan and 
Resources Augmentation Model) has been formulated. 
Data of Sharecroppers 
According to the estimation of the Agriculture Census 2015-16, there are 48.66 lakhs 
operational holdings in Odisha. Out of this about 9.05 lakhs operational holdings are 
of "leased in" tenancy status (2.83 lakhs are of "wholly leased in" and 6.22 lakhs are 
of "partly leased in" tenancy status). In brief about 18.6% of operational holdings 
are being operated by sharecroppers out of which 93.2% are small and marginal 
farmers. 
Key Features -
To facilitate crop loan financing to share croppers in a more focused manner the 
scheme envisages to use the structured platform of Agricultural Technology 
Management Agency (ATMA) for programme implementation. The salient features of 
the scheme are: 
1. The farmers practising cultivation shall be the target group of crop loan 
financing in JLG mode. 
2. Crop Loans amounting to a maximum of Rs 1.60 lakh per group ( as per RBI 
norms) shall be financed by the banks. 
3. The eligibility of group financing shall depend upon the CIBIL (Credit 
Information Bureau of India Ltd) score of individual farmers and other 
banking regulations. 
4. The Krushak Sathis who are local progressive farmers shall play the prime 
role of motivator in JLG formation assist the members in the documentation, 
& liaise with the banks for crop loan financing. 
5. Krushak Sathis shall assess the credit needs of the farmers for farming 
activities in his/her Gram Panchayat and form a group of such farmers with 
minimum 5 farmers. 
6. The existing farmer data base containing information of the landless and 
small / marginal farmers shall be made available to Krushak Sathis so as to 
help them in identification of appropriate beneficiaries. 
7. Capacity building of officials involved at various levels shall be taken up by the 
NABARD. 
8. Banks will have specific targets for financing of crop loans to JLG. 
9. The VAW/AO will issue the Certificate of Cultivation (CoC) to the share 
croppers in the prescribed format based on field verification (Annexure I).

10. After harvest & sale of produce in procurement centre of market yard, the 
Krushak Sathi will guide the farmers in timely repayment of loan. 
11. Technological interventions like a dedicated portal with access to all 
stakeholders and real time monitoring of crop condition through Mobile App & 
remote Sensing Technology shall be developed and used. 
12. Incentives @Rs 2000/- per JLG shall be provided to Krushak Sathi in 3 
tranches by NABARD i.e. Rs 1000/- on formation of the group & financing by 
banks; Rs 500/- on repayment of loan by the JLG and finally Rs 500/- on 
refinancing. 
13. Institute on Management of Agricultural Extension (IMAGE) shall be the State 
Nodal Agency for programme implementation. 
14. Mid-term evaluation of the programme shall be taken up for course 
correction. 
Detailed Operational Guidelines for smooth implementation of the scheme 
are being separately formulated.