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The President of the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), Dr GR Chintala, on Monday inaugurated a meeting-workshop-strategy of the Department of Innovation in Microcredit (mCID), in which officials participated NABARD from 15 different states and headquarters representatives.

Dr Chintala advised participants to inject the required skills and help more rural entrepreneurs start and grow their own businesses. He interacted with women entrepreneurs funded by Annapurna Finance and NBFC supported by NABARD. He also visited the Odisha State Cooperative Bank (OSCB) and addressed the CEOs of central cooperative banks in rural districts of the state.

He focused on diversifying the loan portfolio, improving agricultural term loans and strengthening the IT infrastructure of cooperative banks to make them relevant and sustainable in the long term. He also inaugurated an enterprise diversification and product innovation cell (BDPIC) established at the Odisha State Cooperative Bank and insisted on increasing the shares of cooperative banks in agricultural loans. State Minister of Finance Niranjan Pujari and Principal Secretary of Finance visited Dr Chintala. They discussed the status of the various financial institutions in the state and the way forward. Later in the day, NABARD’s regional office in Odisha organized a ‘Conclave on Agricultural Sector Initiatives in Odisha’, during which Dr Chintala initiated various development projects for the benefit of tribal farmers and women members of the SHG. He delivered letters of sanction to the project implementing agencies in the predominantly tribal districts of Mayurbhanj and Gajpati.

He also launched a dedicated project on “Production and links with the sweet potato market” in Pottangi, Koraput. He said the project would help farmers diversify their products and tap the sweet potato market.

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