Guwahati, Dec 09: To support and strengthen the financing ecosystem/mechanisms in the agricultural domain of the State APART has established the first of its kind initiative, the Assam AgriFin "Xamahar". Xamahar is a competitive funding mechanism for supporting innovative approaches to deliver financial services, at a scale in the agribusiness sector in the state of Assam. This fund has been conceptualised by the Assam Agribusiness and Rural Transformation Project (APART), a World Bank-financed project of the Assam Government under ARIAS Society.
Through this initiative, the project intends to partner with select 8 to 12 sub-projects from the financial services sector directly benefiting 125,000 beneficiaries of which 30% will be women.
Xamahar was officially launched on the 9th of December 2021 at a function held at the College of Veterinary Sciences, Guwahati by Shri Atul Bora, Hon'ble Minister, Agriculture, Government of Assam in the presence of Dr Ashish Kumar Bhutani, IAS, State Project Director, ARIAS Society.
The main objective of the event was to officially launch "Xamahar" for seeking proposals from service providers like Banks, MFIs, value chain financers, insurance companies and payments service providers from the financial services sector, to apply to the fund. During the event, the portal http://assam-agrifin.in/ was launched by the Hon'ble Minister.
Speaking at the occasion he stated - The initiative taken by APART for the farmers is appreciable. Hope the farmer is able to provide a commercial look of their farming work with this. As compared to the other states, Assam is still lacking behind in farming. We have to work very hard to develop this sector. The government has already earmarked Rs 200 crore in the budget to strengthen the marketing and collection process of agricultural produce.
A cardinal objective of the fund is to support testing of innovations and upscaling of tested innovations by financial service providers (banks, MFIs, value chain financiers, insurance companies and payments service providers) that in turn will help to increase access in terms of financial services for beneficiaries in the agri-business sector.
The four priority areas identified for innovations are(i) Savings, which includes access to long term savings/micro pensions,(ii) digitization of agriculture payments, (iii) Insurance in terms of crop, livestock, life and other perils and (iv) Credit (Production and Investment).
The initiative is implemented by Ernst &Young. Details of the fund can be accessed from http://assam-agrifin.in/.