In a bid to support investment credit in the farm sector and infrastructure build-up in rural areas, the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) is planning to raise about ₹40,000 crore through bond issuance in FY2019.

In FY2018, Nabard raised ₹33,000 crore against ₹25,000 crore in FY2017. The weighted average borrowing cost came down to 7.05 per cent against 7.35 per cent.

“We are rated ‘AAA’ (by credit rating agencies). We are a zero (net) non-performing asset institution and our capital adequacy is strong at 18 per cent,” said Harsh Kumar Bhanwala, Chairman, at a press meet to announce Nabard’s financial performance.

Focus areas

According to Bhanwala, Nabard’s focus, among others, is to boost long-term refinance (to regional rural banks, co-operative banks and commercial banks) so that asset creation happens in the agriculture sector and farm productivity improves; to provide States’ support for establishing rural infrastructure – roads, irrigation, veterinary hospitals, primary schools and primary health centres; and also to give funding support for setting up warehouses, modernisation of dairies and rural housing.

In FY2018, the development financial institution, which is focussed on providing institutional credit to boost the rural economy, reported a 12 per cent increase in surplus at ₹2,950 crore against ₹2,631 crore in the year-ago period.

Balance sheet size

Nabard’s balance sheet size increased by 17 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y) to ₹4,06,473 crore in FY2018.

Loans and advances, including long-term finance, loans under Rural Infrastructure Development Fund, Food Processing Fund, Warehousing Infrastructure Fund, Prime Minister’s Gramin Awas Yojana, and other direct loans, rose 15 per cent y-o-y at ₹3,54,688 crore.

Water Atlas

Meanwhile, Nabard, in association with the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations, is planning to launch a ‘Water Atlas’ to map the water consumption patterns of 10 crops across different States.

Bhanwala said water consumption per kilogram of crop output will be mapped so that crop planning and water efficiency can happen across the country.