Off Farm Sector

National Bank For Agriculture and Rural Development


Promotion of Off Farm Sector was embedded in the very mission statement of NABARD at the time of its inception.

Off Farm Sector assumes significance in the context of the ever pressing need for reducing rural India’s over dependence on agriculture for income by encouraging alternate livelihood options. Development of this sector also helps in arresting large-scale migration of small and marginal farmers and agricultural labourers to urban areas in search of livelihood opportunities on account of unemployment/ disguised employment in the agriculture sector.

NABARD, over the years, has evolved several refinance and promotional schemes for development of Off Farm Sector and has been making constant efforts to broad base and refine/rationalise its schemes in response to needs at the field level.

The focus has been on programmes which enables increased credit flow, provision of credit to the unreached, and provision of linkages for small, cottage and village industries, handloom, handicrafts and other rural crafts and service sector in rural areas.

Developing markets for the rural Off Farm Sector has been an area where NABARD has taken many initiatives. NABARD has also been actively involved in promoting innovations in rural areas in farm and Off Farm sectors by creating a separate fund for this purpose.

Why choose Us?

What we Do.

Over the last three decades, NABARD has designed several refinance and promotional schemes for development of Rural Off-Farm Sector and has been making constant efforts to broad base and refine them in response to field level needs. The focus has been on greater credit flow to the sector, provision of credit to the unreached and ensuring linkages for small, cottage and village industries, handloom, handicrafts and other crafts in the rural areas.

Why choose Us?

Our Mission.


OFDD Insights

Broad achievements of the Department at a National Level
Skill Development Initiatives of NABARD

In tune with GoI’s goal, NABARD has developed a structured approach for addressing the skill gap in rural India through demand and outcome-based programmes through multiple stakeholders in skill development ecosystem leading to wage/self-employment.

All developmental interventions under skilling are through digital platform “NABSKILL” ( enabling complete digitisation of Skill interventions right from submission of applications, settlement of claims to effective implementation, monitoring/tracking, placement. NABARD has so far extended grant assistance of ₹154.37 Crore for training 9.04 Lakh rural youth through 34,878 programmes by gainfully engaging rural youth both in wage as well as self-employment. During 2019-20, NABARD has extended grant assistance of ₹18.92 Crore for skilling 33,216 rural youth through 1066 programmes.

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Sectorwise Candidates Traineed Vs Settlement Rate
Impact during 2019-20
Category Wise Report
Off Farm Producer Organisation (OFPO)

Off-Farm Producer Organizations (OFPOs) are legal entities formed by producers like artisans, weavers, craftsmen etc. which provides for sharing of profits/benefits among members. The objective of the producer organization is to ensure better income realization to its members through aggregation and value addition. OFPOs play an important role in promoting rural enterprises in handloom, handicraft and other off farm activites so as to generate local employment through value addition, design innovation and development, processing, brand-building, creation of storage and logistics infrastructure, mechanization and development of technology plus strong forward and backward linkages. This ultimately brings in sustainable and inclusive development through collectivization and formalization.

As on 31 March 2020, 33 OFPOs covering around 11,678 beneficiaries have been supported with grant assistance of ₹12.88 Crore across 19 states. 18 OFPOs have been registered under Companies/Societies Act and are undertaking business activities through aggregation, marketing and input distribution.

Marketing Initiatives

In order to support rural artisans & producers to market their products effectively NABARD provides financial assistance for setting up Rural Haats and Rural Marts as also sponsoring Exhibitions.

Rural Haat

Rural Haats have been vital to the lives of rural communities by providing them accessible market place to buy and sell their farm and off-farm produce. NABARD supports existing as well as setting up of new Rural Haats for creating basic infrastructural facilities. Rural Haats have emerged as forward linkages for Producer Organizations, Village Watershed and Tribal Development Committees in trading their produce. As on 31 March 2020, 563 Rural Haats have been supported with grant assistance of ₹34.21 Crore.

Rural Mart

Rural Marts not only provide market but also help promote entrepreneurship amongst producer communities, SHGs etc. The Scheme provides for support towards operational expenditure for setting up of Rural Marts at potential locations. As on 31 March 2020, 904 Rural Haats have been supported with grant assistance of ₹15.65 Crore.


Exhibitions and Melas provide a direct marketing platform to the artisans with access to market intelligence, customer preferences and bulk orders. Participation in these melas empower the artisans to face the challenges in doing business.

NABARD supports organizing exhibitions independently or in collaboration with major partners. Grant assistance is also extended for enabling artisans/producers to participate in exhibitions at different places in India. During 2019-20, twenty Regional Offices and Head Office, Mumbai organised exhibitions independently providing 1765 producers/artisans collectives from rural India to display and sell their products in major urban centres, generating direct and bulk sales to the tune of ₹10.17 Crore. Some of the major exhibitions supported during the year include Mahalaxmi Saras Mela, Mumbai, Surajkhund Mela, Surajkhund in Haryana and Deccan Haat, Hyderabad. These exhibitions have proved to be an effective marketplace for majority of OFPOs supported by NABARD wherein they could get access to bulk buyers as well as gather inputs on improving their products.

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