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Motihari: Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Radha Mohan Singh on Monday requested Bihar government to bear the 4% interest on loan to farmers so that they can get loans at zero percent interest. At present, the farmers of Bihar receive, loan at 7% interest, 3% of which is borne by the Central Government. He was addressing the conference of Primary Agriculture Credit Societies (PACS) organized by Indian National Cooperative Union at Motihari, headquarters of East Champaran district.
Mohan Singh said, ” If we want to take the country ahead in the developmental field, we will have to develop the farmers agriculture as well as villages. We will have to increase the income of the farmers and for this purpose we will have to bring in another revolution.”. He said that the PACSs are the fundamental base for the development related to agriculture and cooperatives. The PACS are organized at the level of villages and have farmers as members. At present nearly 8,463 PACSs are functional in Bihar besides almost 521 Trade Cooperatives.. Nearly 372 PACSs functional in East Champaran district, he said.
Singh said that there must be a provision of reservation in PACSs to ensure the partnership of weaker section of the society scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, backward class and most backward classes. It is also essential to bring about institutional improvement to develop these PACSs as development centre of rural economy. Through these PACS farmers are provided seeds, fertilizers, agricultural equipment along with short term loan. The Union Minister opined that the farmers must be provided more grants to strengthen the distribution system and substantiate the economic base of the PACS in Bihar.
The Union Minister said fifty per cent PACSs do not own their own godowns in Bihar for the storage of their products. Singh said that until there are storage facilities, the farmers will have to bear losses. He said that the efforts were on to computerise all the 8,463 PACSs in Bihar. This programme will cost almost Rs. 2000 crore 50% of which would be borne by Central Government through NABARD, 45% will be funded by Government of Bihar and rest of 5% will be provided by District State Cooperative Banks.