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BLOG-71: Demonetization and Agriculture: Lessons for Extension and Advisory Services

The recent demonetization exercise by the Indian Government has impacted farmers adversely, at least in the ‘short run’. At the same time, has it also opened up new possibilities of digitizing money handling in the agricultural value chain? Arun Balamatti explores these issues in this blog.

Dr Arun Balamatti is Senior Scientist and Head, ICAR JSS Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Suttur 571 129, Nanjangud Taluk, Mysuru District, Karnataka.

 

 
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  • Whether demonetization has helped farmers or not, digitization is a reality and it is a challenge for the EAS to address this issue. Dr. Arun Balamatti has rightly stressed the role of EAS in improving the farmers financial literacy and in helping them to come out of the psychological barriers. Congratulations to Dr.Arun for bringing out an informative blog on demonetization.

  • Any change for good or bad meets resistance, have short term and long term consequences, critics and those favoring it, have vested interests etc. I wish to know, in nutshell -was it required, will it help in long run, its cost benefit ratio etc. I appreciate this blog, since it addressed an issue which was debated most intensely in recent times, it has given an excellent overview of the scenario with quotes from noted experts. Most interesting of all, it has a section on Lessons for Extension and Advisory Services, giving some ideas how to tackle the problem to help out the farmers-farmers were psychological disturbed and how EAS can help them out by making them aware and literate on these new things. Congratulations to Arun Balamatti and AESA for bringing out such a stimulating blog well on time.

  • Digitization in farm financing and farm credit system is a must step for transparency, quick delivery and timeliness of credit/finance availability. It would take time with large majority of the farmers,though as always the innovators and resourceful would take the system benefits first. Hence, my submission would be to have a well thought out module on farm credit in all the training programmes across the training system, both public and private. This is the right time for NABARD and the ICAR / SDA Systems to come together and design the proposed module, set its digitization and delivery mechanism. Lots of efforts have to go in at the grass roots level to streamline the processes, may be through FOs, NGOs, Extension networks, banks etc. Eventually, there is need for having a farm credit app enabling farmers to access the credit options & smooth delivery. Accordingly, Arun Balamattis thoughts are quite encouraging