The cooperative movement in the district had been rejuvenated in the last three years with societies going hi-tech in almost all spheres of their activities, said K.V.S. Kumar, Joint Registrar of Cooperative Societies, Madurai Region.

Speaking to reporters here on Saturday, he said that cooperative banks and other financial institutions had deposits to the tune of Rs.1,144 crore in the current year. The amount had increased by Rs.160 crore compared to last year.

Crop loan for Rs.10.04 crore had been given to 7,518 farmers this year. The loans were given at zero per cent interest for those who repay promptly. Further, Rs.1.1 crore had been disbursed to nearly 132 farmers’ groups comprising of 10 members each.

The Madurai District Central Cooperative (MDCC) bank alone had disbursed loans worth Rs.80.55 crore in the ongoing financial year to 37,118 people living below the poverty line, Self-Help Groups, Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribes and others. Five urban cooperative banks in the district had disbursed jewel loan, business loan, home loan and others to tune of Rs.38.37 crore to 15,739 beneficiaries. All these banks had been computerised to provide better services to the customers.

Agri clinics had been established at Alanganallur, Uranganpatti, Manalpatti, Kallikudi Chathiram, Viraganur, Sathangudi and Peraiyur to conduct soil test and water test besides providing expert guidance to farmers at a nominal cost.

There were plans to start coordinated agri service centres at six primary agricultural cooperative societies including those at Kodikulam, Usilampatti and Villur for renting out farm equipments such as tractors, tillers, transplanters and sprayers at low cost.

Similarly, public service centres would be established in nine primary agricultural cooperative societies to assist villagers in obtaining patta (land ownership document), bus tickets, train tickets and so on through telecommunication facilities.

Last year, 17 cooperative societies in the district had procured 13,290 tonnes of paddy from farmers and handed it over to the Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Corporation. The societies had sold 150 tonnes of good quality seeds to the agriculturalists.

The Tamil Nadu Cooperative sales depot here had supplied 19,000 tonnes of fertilisers in 2008-09. This year, 7,200 tonnes had been distributed till the end of October. “So far, there has been no complaint on this issue,” he said.

Joint Registrar and Special Officer of MDCC bank, T. Arockia Sugumar, stated that the bank had set a target to provide Rs.70 crore before March 2010 towards crop loan through 263 primary agricultural cooperative societies in Madurai and Theni districts.

P. Uma Maheshwari, Special Officer of Pandian Cooperative Supermarkets, said that a special sales carnival had been organised in twelve stores spread across the city in view of the All India Cooperative Week celebrations between November 14 and 20.

Consumers making purchases worth Rs.500 and above during the week would be given prize coupons. Those selected through a lot would receive gifts such as a mixer grinder, a 10 litre stainless steel cooker and a mobile phone.

Apart from these, there were also assured gifts for every purchase made above Rs.200. Elocution and essay writing competitions for school children, blood donation camps, a seminar on social justice and many other events would mark the celebrations.

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