Assistant General Manager of National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) N. Madumurthy on Tuesday said in addition to the existing 7,000 Farmers' Clubs in Andhra Pradesh, the bank intended to constitute another 100 such bodies during 2012-13 and cover all villages by establishing at least one club in every village by the end of the 12 Five Year Plan.

Addressing a meeting organised in connection with a district-level Farmers' Clubs award function, Mr. Madhumurthy said NABARD had formed 75 of the 2,000 clubs in Krishna district with the support of banks and other agencies such as KVK, agriculture universities, and NGOs. These clubs had multiplied to nearly 7,000 by March this year and of them, 250 were in Krishna district.

He said these clubs were informal groups of farmers formed to propagate the principle of ‘Development Through Credit' which emphasised the need for usage of credit effectively in a most scientific manner to increase agriculture production and productivity.

The key role of Farmers' Clubs related to dissemination of appropriate technology, linkages with banks, markets, credit counselling, recovery of loans and development of skills for enhancement of production and productivity in rural areas.

He said the NABARD would provide a financial assistance of Rs. 10,000 to each club per annum for three years. The club members were expected to utilise this amount to meet routine expenses for formation, maintenance, and organising awareness meets. He said NABARD had also set up a dedicated ‘Farmers Technology Transfer Fund' (FTTF) to provide financial assistance to any institution including Farmers' Clubs for facilitating adoption and dissemination of appropriate technologies that would result in increase in farmers' income.

The technical sessions were handled by Principal Scientists/coordinators from agricultural research stations, KVK and DAAT Centre. The scientists dealt with the gap in adoption of technology (technology developed by the research stations but not finding application by the farmers), the reasons/barriers in the dissemination process and the measures to overcome the same.

Best performance awards were given to five farmers clubs in Krishna district for exhibiting exemplary performance in the agriculture technology transfer and in the overall social and economic development of their respective villages during 2011-12.

Indian Bank DGM G.G. Raghu, Agriculture Department Joint Director P. Padmaja, programme coordinator for KVK Varaprasad, Horticulture Department Assistant Director R. Rammohan Rao, Animal Husbandry Department Joint Director Damodara Naidu, Project Director, ATMA, Y. Subramanyam and a host of others were present.

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