Financial Inclusion is the new buzz word being heard everywhere, meaning different things to different people – from a mere credit access to a range of financial services to the poor. Most often, farm credit is inherently associated with large farmers, under the assumption that only commercial agriculture needed finance. But the reality is, majority of small holders also need credit which is timely and inexpensive, to remain in farming and make a reasonable living.
A number of initiatives are being tried by formal as well as development agencies, using different models and methods with varying degrees of success. Also, there are a wide ranging issues and relevant questions – Is credit sufficient to promote sustainable livelihoods for small holders? Do farmer groups have a role to play in accessing credit? Are self help groups becoming an easy platform for reaching the credit targets by the government? Is sufficient investment being made in making these institutions sustainable? In this issue, we have included experiences which address some of these issues. Also, included are views of pioneers of some of these movements, and those making tremendous efforts even in mainstream institutions. Hope you find them informative and inspirational.
Marginal and small farmers require freedom and options, not financial inclusion
Aloysius Prakash Fernandez
Microfinance for livelihood improvement
Linking small-scale farmers to credit institutions
Ch Ravinder Reddy, P Parthasarathy Rao , Ashok S Alur,
A Rajashekar Reddy, Sanju Birajdhar, A Ashok Kumar,
Belum VS Reddy and CLL Gowda
Self regulation of SHGs and SHG federations
S Rama Lakshmi
Strength lies in building empowered communities
Interview with Dr Venkatesh Tagat
Financing small farmers – an innovative methodology
L H Manjunath
Financing sustainable farming through strong local
D Ranganatha Babu
Thinking beyond credit
Jan Douwe van der Ploeg
Bank credits – boon or bane?
The Narayana Reddy Column
Timely credit is the key