India, the world’s largest economy, where half of its population is directly or indirectly engaged in agriculture, does not even produce 20% of its GDP from the agriculture industry showing how deep the problem is. Where on one side the farmer who produces food for the whole country, sleeps empty stomach. Where on one side, we make celebrations by cooking food grown by these farmers, on the other these farmers are crushed into an endless cycle of debt and poverty emotionally damaging them sometimes even leading them with no other option than to suicide. The plight of our farmers is so big that it needs to be addressed immediately, we can not see our farmer brother and sister starve and struggle to live anymore, hence the government of India came with Kisan Credit Card Yojana to improve the lives of these farmers by making them financially empowered. In this article, we bring to you everything you need to know about what a Kisan Credit Card is and how it benefits our farmers. So, let’s start:
What is the purpose of the Kisan Credit Card?
It is a scheme of the Government of India created by NABARD ( National Bank For Agriculture And Rural Development) launched in 1998 which provides farmers with timely short-term credit up to a pre-specified credit limit to purchase equipment like water pumps, seeds, and other expenses as well. The KCC ensures that the credit requirements of farmers in fisheries, agriculture sector, animal husbandry are timely met.
Who is eligible for a Kisan credit Card?
All types of farmers including SHGs, Joint Liability Groups, Tenant Farmers, Sharecroppers, owner cultivators are eligible for the scheme.
- Self Help Groups: An informal association of farmers who have together to improve the standard of living by building social capital.
- Joint Liability Groups: It is a small group of farmers engaged in the same economic activity coming together to avail bank loans on an individual basis or through a group mechanism against a mutual guarantee.
- Tenant Farmers: A farmer who does farming in land owned by another person and pays rent or share of crops in return.
- Share Croppers: It is a form of tenant farming in which the landowner puts capital required for farming and the tenant farmer contributes in labor in return for a share of crops.
- Owner Cultivator: Any farmer who personally cultivates his land along with providing capital and management with the aid of family members and households.
- Others: Farmers involved in allied activities such as animal husbandry and non-farming activities like fishermen.
What are the Benefits of the Kisan Credit Card?
- Low-Interest Rate: The interest rate for Kisan credit cards starts at as low as 2% with an average of 4%, exempting farmers from high-interest rates. Also, to make it more flexible and beneficial for farmers, farmers under the Kisan Credit Card scheme can pay credit in the harvesting period of the crop for which the loan was originally provided. Also, certain subsidies and schemes are offered by the government to farmers that come under KCC with regard to interest rate, these depend on the repayment history and general credit history of the cardholder.
- Timely Credit: Loans up to 3 lakh rupees along with an option to avail marketing loans as when farmers require finances for agriculture requirements such as dairy animals, pump sets, etc., and other allied activities with the post-harvest expenses. Single credit facility/term loan for all agricultural and ancillary requirements.
- Insurance Cover: All Famers under Kisan Credit Card Scheme get insurance coverage of up to Rupees 50,000 in case of permanent disability or death with an additional cover of Rupees 25000 is given in case of other risks.
- Free Assistance: Free assistance is provided to all farmers that come under the Kisan credit card scheme, in the purchase of fertilizers, seeds, etc. as well as in availing cash discounts from merchants and dealers.
- No collateral: Under KCC farmers are provided with collateral-free loans up to Rs. 1.60 lakh.
- Flexible Repayment options: All the farmers under KCC are provided with flexible repayment options in which farmers can repay the loan in the harvest season of the crop for which the loan was originally given and a hassle-free disbursement procedure.
A happy farmer means a happier country, you must understand how the government is using taxpayers’ money in the right direction. We no longer should consider tears of sadness in eyes of our farmer’s eyes normal, Credit Card schemes our a new ray of hope, covering the gap between rich and poor, so that no more incidents like a farmer left with no other option but to take his life while being crushed under poverty ever happen. We are the future! We are Young India! Jai Hind!