The World Bank has earmarked $600 million to improve access to credit by farmers in India. “By providing small farmers with improved financial services, such as credit, savings, remittances and insurance, this project will play a significant role in helping India’s rural poor benefit from growth opportunities,” said World Bank country director Isabel Guerrero. World Bank lead economist and project team leader Priya Basu sees the project as a way to not only “transform India’s rural credit cooperative banks into efficient and commercially viable institutions” but also to “enable poor farmers to break out of the clutches of usurious moneylenders, diversify economic activities, increase incomes and improve their livelihoods.” Heavy debt burden has prompted many farmers in India to commit suicide in recent years, most of which occurred in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Maharashtra. (Sources: World Bank loan for India farmers/BBC; World Bank loan for India farmers/Bloomberg)

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