Farmers Joint Liability Groups (JLG) attached to Primary Agriculture Co-operative Credit Societies (PACCS) in Thanjavur district are functioning effectively in enabling the reach of loan and other facilities to small and marginal farmers.

The JLG concept is aimed at helping farmers who have small land holdings but don't have title deeds or other documents to pledge, those who are tenants and those who can not get credit from other sources.

Ten such farmers can form a group and avail the loan facility from PACCS. The concept was introduced in the State budget in 2008-2009. Accordingly PACCS were asked to form JLGs. In Thanjavur district, 500 such JLGs were formed during 2008-2009 and another 500 groups in 2009-2010. “This year also ie 2010-2011, we are going to form another 500 groups,” said K. Sivaji, Joint Registrar of Co-operatives.

The groups were given Rs. 10,000 each as revolving fund by the Government. They can borrow crop loans. If they repay it promptly, they can get loans for other activities like purchase of milch animals, agriculture equipments or for doing other business. “They have been prompt in repaying the loan. Only eligibility for them to get loan is that they should have convened weekly meetings with adequate attendance for a period of time regularly,” Mr. Sivaji said.

JLG members attached to Rajagiri Primary Agriculture Co-operative Credit Society in Thiruvaiyaru taluk said that they borrowed two times from the society and repaid the loan promptly. Repayment should be done within eight months after borrowing. A. Velmurugan, convenor of the group said that they borrowed Rs. 80,800 as crop loan first time. It was repaid. Then they borrowed another Rs. 1,30,000. This was also repaid properly. Mr. Sivaji honoured the members of the JLG for their proper repayment by presenting them shawls on Tuesday. Nine such groups have been formed by the Maraneri-Kadambankudi PACCS. The members evinced interest in starting a milk society by getting loans to purchase milch animals. “One milk society functioned successfully in the village in the past. But now it is defunct. We want to start a new milk society and supply milk to Thanjavur District Co-operative Milk Union at Thanjavur,” they said. Sivaji said that they can avail loans for purchasing milch animals.

The Joint Registrar said that during 2008-09 crop loans to the tune of Rs. 4.20 crore had been disbursed by PACCS to 519 JLGs with a membership of 4110. During the year 2009-2010, crop loans to the tune of Rs. 7.18 crore had been disbursed to 654 groups.

“Thrust will be on forming more JLGs in the district and strengthening them. It is not an easy task. Genuine farmers should join to form the group. Once formed they should be interested in getting loan and also in prompt repayment. If this is done correctly, the aim of the Government to help marginal and small farmers will be achieved,” Mr. Sivaji said. There are 242 PACCS in Thanjavur district.