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Abstract

The institutional credit has been conceived to play a pivotal role in the agricultural development of India. A large number of institutional agencies are involved in the disbursement of credit to agriculture. However, the persistence of money lenders in the rural credit market is still a major concern. In this backdrop, the present study has examined the performance of agricultural credit flow and has identified the determinants of increased use of institutional credit at the farm household level in India. The study based on the secondary data compiled from several sources, has revealed that the institutional credit to agriculture in real terms has increased tremendously during the past four decades. The structure of credit outlets has witnessed a significant change and commercial banks have emerged as the major source of institutional credit in recent years. But, the declining share of investment credit in the total credit may constrain the sustainable agricultural growth. The quantum of institutional credit availed by the farming households is affected by a number of socio-demographic factors which include education, farm size, family size, caste, gender, occupation of household, etc. The study has suggested simplification of the procedure for a better access to agricultural credit of smallholders and less-educated/illiterate farmers.

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