Off Farm Development Department
1.  Genesis

Promotion of Off Farm Sector was embedded in the very mission statement of NABARD at the time of its inception. The sector assumes significance in the context of the ever pressing need for reducing rural India’s over dependence on agriculture for income by encouraging alternate livelihood options. Development of this -sector also helps in arresting large-scale migration of small and marginal farmers and agricultural labourers to urban areas in search of livelihood opportunities on account of unemployment/ disguised employment in the agriculture sector.
NABARD, over the years, has evolved several refinance and promotional schemes for development of Off farm Sector and has been making constant efforts to broad base and refine/rationalise its schemes in response to needs at the field level. 
The focus has been on increasing credit flow, provision of credit to the unreached, and provision of linkages for small, cottage and village industries, handloom, handicrafts and other rural crafts and service sector in rural areas.
Developing markets for the rural Off-Farm Sector has been an area where NABARD has taken many initiatives. NABARD has also been actively involved in promoting innovations in rural areas in farm and off farm sectors by creating a separate fund for this purpose.
Thrust areas of the Off Farm Development Department (OFDD) are as indicated below:
 Rural housing 
  • Rural sanitation
  • Comprehensive planning for Skill building 
  • Rural innovations
  • Marketing intervention 
  • Rural transportation 
  • Rural tourism
  • Other Off Farm Activities 
2.  Core Functions of the Department  
 Providing end-to-end solutions for promotion of activities generating/enhancing livelihoods under the Rural Off Farm Sector 
  • Providing financial support as grant, loan-cum-grant or loan/Revolving Fund Assistance depending on the nature of the project, activities within the project, stakeholders involved, etc. 
  • Providing financial support to NGOs, Self-Help Group (SHG) Federations, Farmers Club Federations, Producer Organisations, Cooperatives, Government Agencies, Banks, Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs), Companies (including Section 25 companies) and such other agencies that are into livelihood promotional activities and which approach the department for the support
  • Supporting marketing activities of rural artisans by extending grant assistance for organizing melas, exhibitions, etc.
  • Promoting skill development by extending grant support to rural training institutions like Rural Development and Self Employment Training Institute (RUDSETIs)/ Rural Self Employment Training Institutes (RSETIs) etc. 
3.  Broad achievements of the Department at a national level 
  • Promotional Programmes 
Rural Innovation 
Through its Rural Innovation Fund (RIF), OFDD has extended financial support for innovative, unconventional experiments in farm, off farm and micro finance sectors. As on 31 March 2016, total number of projects sanctioned by the department stood at 687 with a total commitment of Rs.73.23 crore. 
  •  Rural Entrepreneurship/ Skill Development Programmes
NABARD has supported Rural Entrepreneurship Development Programmes (REDPs) and Skill Development Programmes (SDPs) for facilitating generation of self-employment and wage employment opportunities in rural areas. 
During 2015-16, financial assistance was sanctioned for conduct of 689 REDPs/ SDPs through RUDSETIs/ RSETIs with a settlement rate of more than 75%. Cumulatively, NABARD has supported 30,341 REDPs/SDIs with grant assistance of Rs.109.77 crore, imparting training to around 7.83 lakh unemployed rural youth as on 31 March 2016. The settlement rate stood at 45% in case of NGOs and around 70% in case of RSETIs/ RUDSETIs trained youth.
  • Gurukul Training (Pan-IIT Model)
a)  To demonstrate that the entrepreneurs are willing to pay for skill training linked to assured employment, NABARD has supported this model of skill upgradation. This initiative also has financial inclusion and digital technology as built-in components. 
b)  As a part of NABARD’s continued developmental interventions for empowerment of rural youth, a loan-based project of Rs.4.76 crore under Rural Innovation Fund was sanctioned to “Pan IIT Alumni Reach for India”(PARFI) for setting up 20 gurukuls, aimed at skill building and providing assured placement for school dropouts from very poor rural households in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, A.P. Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Bihar and Assam in construction activities like masonry, bar bending, fork lifting, plumbing, air conditioning, electrical wiring, heavy vehicle driving, catering etc. The project has been assisted through grant assistance of Rs.60 lakh towards organizational cost, Rs. 60 lakh towards start-up expenses for setting up 20 Gurukuls and Revolving Fund Assistance (RFA) of Rs. 356 lakh.
c)  The agency has already set up 20 gurukul units as part of the pilot -- 7 in Jharkhand, 5 in Tamil Nadu, 2 each in Rajasthan and Bihar, and one each in Chhattisgarh, Odisha, West Bengal and Maharashtra all of which are targeted to school drop-outs, poor youth from Left-Wing Extremism areas. As part of the pilot project, 5,659 trainees  have been trained in 237 batches with 100% placement rate (including self-employment especially in driving and catering.) The total recovery rate has been 58% with some of the Jharkhand gurukuls reporting repayment rates of 75-80%. The per-trainee Revolving Fund Assistance availed comes to Rs. 3,800, showcasing the ‘rotation of capital’ as envisaged in the pilot proposal.
d)  Based on the success of the PANIIT model, NABARD has sanctioned grant assistance of Rs. 5 crore to NABFINS (a subsidiary of NABARD) for institutionalising the project for extending skill loans to trainees through Gurukuls set up by PARFI. NABARD has released Rs.2.50 crore to NABFINS as advance.
  • Cluster Development
NABARD has been implementing the Cluster Development Programme under the National Programme on Rural Industrialisation (NPRI) since 1999-2000. Building on that experience and considering the fact that cluster approach is best suited for the development of small and micro enterprises, NABARD evolved its own Cluster Development Policy in the year 2005-06. NABARD has cumulatively approved a total of 119 clusters in 110 districts across 22 States. Focus was given on development of clusters in north eastern region (NER,) with as many as 23 clusters in the NER and backward regions. Prominent clusters supported under the programme were:
a)    Handloom (57)
b)    Handicrafts (43)
c)    Food processing and rural tourism (7 each)
  • Marketing Initiatives
a) Exhibitions and Melas
To support rural artisans in utilizing their expertise as a source of livelihood while also helping them to enhance their income, NABARD has been supporting marts and haats, exhibitions at State level and large fairs at National level.  
i.    Mahalaxmi SARAS Mela, Mumbai
ii.   Surajkund International Craft Fair, Haryana 
iii.  NABARD Deccan Haat, Hyderabad
NABARD’s support for exhibitions and melas has helped rural artisans and Self Help Groups in showcasing their products, enabling a wider reach and getting more orders, thereby enhancing their income and livelihood opportunities.
b) e- portal 
NABARD has taken a significant initiative for shaping livelihoods by supporting the development of two e-portals viz., “’’ & “” by M/s. Zaak e-Ventures Pvt. Ltd and M/s. e-Fresh Portal Pvt. Ltd respectively. The portals were launched at the hands of Honorable Union Finance Minister, Shri Arun Jaitley, on 16 January 2015. 
The portals have commenced functioning through pilot mode, showcasing 500 products of artisan groups, comprising handicrafts, jewellery and handloom sectors, from a few states of India. This endeavor aims to link skilled artisans with consumers through technology. The initiative aims to give a distinct identity and increased visibility to the artisans and their products on a wider canvas. 
  •  Loan cum Grant Projects 
a) Rural Sanitation 
NABARD has sanctioned an amount of Rs. 47 lakh as grant and Rs. 2,048 lakh as loan to 17 agencies for construction of 14,495 toilets in rural households. 
b) Rural Housing
NABARD has sanctioned an amount of Rs. 257 crore as direct loan assistance and Rs. 4 crore as grant towards rural housing to 16 agencies for construction/ renovation of 4,425 housing units. 
c) Rural Tourism
An amount of Rs.124 lakh as loan and Rs. 12.25 lakh as grant assistance has been sanctioned to BIOVED Lucknow during the year 2015-16.
  • Credit Linked Capital Subsidy Scheme (CLCSS) 
The Credit Linked Capital Subsidy Scheme (CLCSS) for Technology Upgradation of Micro & Small Enterprises was launched by the Government of India in October 2000. The scheme aims at facilitating technology upgradation of MSE units in the specified products/ sub-sectors by way of induction of well-established and improved technologies approved under the scheme for which capital subsidy is extended by GoI. 
NABARD was designated as one of the nodal agencies for channelising subsidy under the scheme for Cooperative Banks, Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) and Commercial Banks. So far NABARD has disbursed an amount of Rs.64.41 crores to 1,263 units under the scheme.
  • Stand Up India Scheme
Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi launched Stand Up India Scheme on 5th April 2016. NABARD has been assigned the responsibility of training of trainers, liaising with banks for follow up through Lead District Managers (LDMs) and arrange hand-holding support for trainee borrowers. 
NABARD District Development Managers (DDMs) are to coordinate with the LDM of each district for clearing the bottlenecks faced by the potential entrepreneurs and guide District Consultative Committee (DCC)/ District Level Consultative Committees (DLCC) in review and monitoring of the scheme implementation in the districts. 
Contact Information:
Dr. S Saravanavel
Chief General Manager
5th Floor, 'B' Wing
C-24, 'G' Block
Bandra-Kurla Complex, Bandra (East)
Mumbai 400 051 
Tel: (91) 022-26530083
Fax: (91) 022-26530082