The government of Odisha came up with an initiative named the Balaram Yojana. Through this initiative the state govt. provide financial support to the farmers of the state in form of credit/loans. Bhoomihina Agriculturist Loan & Resources Augmentation Model is the full form of Balaram. At the launch phase, the government had plans to benefit around 7 lakh beneficiary farmers of the state and for the same, the state government allocated a sum of Rs. 1.040 crores. There are a lot of landless farmers and sharecroppers in the state and the agricultural activities provide employment to around 80 % of the state’s rural population.
With agriculture being the sole employment of such a big population of the state, the state govt. keeps launching new welfare schemes and initiatives to enhance the agricultural sector of the state. Although the state government also has other welfare initiatives such as the Mukhyamantri Karma Tatpara Abhiyan through which the govt. provides employment opportunities.
Out of 48.66 lakhs, operational holdings of Odisha around 9 lakh are on lease. Around 18.5% of the operational holdings are operated by sharecroppers and 93% of these farmers are marginal and small farmers. JLGs’ will be providing credit to the farmers through the help of the Odisha Balaram Yojana.
Applications for the Odisha Balaram Yojana
The Balaram Yojana came into existence in the month of July 2020 and due to the pandemic situations, the implementation had some delays. As of now the authorities or the state government has not published any application procedure for the Odisha Balaram Yojana in the public domain. As the government has started the implementation already that means the beneficiaries might be getting selected through the help of surveys done by village-level volunteers.
The beneficiary selection procedure is done at the end of authorities or the state government and there are no application procedures available as of now through which the applicants can apply online for this welfare initiative.
Eligibility guidelines for the Balaram Yojana
Some of the basic eligibility guidelines for the Odisha Balaram yojana are mentioned below. These guidelines are acquired from the similar welfare schemes that are being run by the govt. in the state.
- Only the farmers of Odisha are eligible to become beneficiary of this scheme.
- The initiative was taken to support the small or marginal farmers of the state so there must be some guidelines to select the small and marginal farmers from the rural areas of Odisha.
- As the beneficiary selection is being done at the government’s end, all the guidelines are not made public yet.
- To benefit from the Balaram Yojana the candidates must have some basic documents like identity proof, resident proof, bank account, etc.
To check the full list of eligibility guidelines, we recommend visiting the official portal of govt. of Odisha
Implementation of the Odisha’s Balaram Scheme
The Odisha Balaram Yojana is being implemented with a joint initiative of the government of Odisha and the National bank for Agriculture and Rural Development – NABARD. The loans or credit will be provided by the formal institutions to the joint liability groups. The joint liability groups will be formed which will consist of 4 to 10 farmers as the members of the JLG. This initiative helped in reducing the number of farmers acquiring loans and credits from informal sources and falling into debt traps. There is a specific authority that will be supervising the proper implementation and that is the department of agriculture and farmers empowerment.
The implementation is done by the VAWs and Krushak Sathis at the village level and incentives are provided to them by the Agricultural Technology Management Agency. At the state level implementation, the Institute on Management of Agricultural Extension is responsible. JLGs are formed at the state level under the supervision of Krushak Sathis. As the credit is being sourced from the formal institutions, the finances are sourced from around 7000 branches of rural and urban banks and PACs.
Guidelines for the Joint liability groups members
As the credit or loans will be provided by the formal institutions to the JLGs’ there are some guidelines that are required to be followed by the groups to become eligible for the credits, some of those guidelines are mentioned below.
- The joint liability groups can not consist of more than 1 member of a single family.
- To make the processing and operation of the group smooth, it must consist of members from similar sociao-economic status.
- There should be a trust in all the member so they must come from same area or village so that they know and trust each other well.
- Any member with a history of loan or credit default is not allowed in the joint liability group.