Kolkata: National Bank of Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has provided credit support of Rs 1,607 crore to West Bengal during the COVID-19 pandemic so far, an official said on July 13.

Besides the bank's normal refinance schemes, this is a special liquidity support measure as the pandemic and the lockdown have severely affected the rural economy, a NABARD official said.

A smooth credit flow will provide support to the farming sector for sustaining agricultural and allied operations during the post-harvest Rabi crops and ongoing Kharif season, he said.

The help was provided through state cooperative banks, regional rural banks and micro-finance institutions, he said.

Of the total credit flow, Rs 145 crore was given under the Rural Infrastructure and Development Fund (RIDF) to boost infrastructure in the countryside during the pandemic.

The official said that Rs 292 crore was also provided to the West Bengal government for promoting micro-irrigation schemes among the small and marginal farmers, especially in the dry districts of the state.

During the current fiscal, the Centre has fixed the agricultural credit target at Rs 15 lakh crore in addition to the expansion of the NABARD refinance schemes.