1. Promotion of Rural Non-Farm Sector assumes significance in the context of reducing over dependence on agriculture of our rural population and to provide a safety net for the farmer households during times of stress like crop losses, fall in prices of farm produce, etc. It also helps in arresting large-scale migration of small and marginal farmers and agricultural labourers to urban areas in search of livelihood opportunities during lean period.
2. NABARD has evolved several refinance and promotional schemes over the years and has been making constant efforts to liberalise, broad base and refine/ rationalise the schemes in response to the field level needs. The focus has been on greater credit flow and provision of linkages for small, cottage and village industries, handicrafts and other rural crafts and service sector in the decentralised sector in the rural areas.
3. Building an entrepreneurial culture among the rural youth had been the first priority. Developing markets for the rural non-farm sector had been another area where NABARD had taken many initiatives in the past. NABARD has also been actively involved in promoting innovations in rural areas in farm and non-farm sectors by creating a separate fund for this purpose. Over 150 such innovations have been funded during the last 2 years and many of them are being replicated/ upscaled. The innovations funded cover a number of new areas like providing clean drinking water in villages on a self sustaining model to creation of Producer Organisations in rural areas to handle procurement, processing and marketing of rural produce.