The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has decided to open more than 15 Uzhavar Mandram (farmers' clubs) in different parts of the district in the current fiscal, Erode District Central Co-operative Bank Special Officer P. Loganathan has said.
Participating in a camp held at Kembanaickanpalayam Primary Agriculture Co-operative Credit Society near Sathyamangalam recently, he said that the farmers' clubs, which were grassroots-level informal forums, had been opened in Polavakalipalayam, Kullampalayam, Thindalmalaii, Peddampalayam and Koodakkarai in the district.
Leading farmers could come together to start similar clubs in others parts of the district.
The primary objective of the initiative was to ensure development in the rural areas through credit, technology transfer, awareness and capacity-building.
The clubs would facilitate the transfer of latest agriculture techniques to the field and help farmers enhance the productivity of various crops, he said.
The clubs would also co-ordinate with banks to ensure credit flow among its members and forge better bank-barrower relationship, conduct extension programmes, liaison with input suppliers to purchase bulk inputs on behalf of members, and organise joint activities like value addition, processing and collective farm produce marketing for the benefit of members.
Mr. Loganathan said that the clubs should conduct meetings and send reports to the NBARD periodically.
Deputy Registrar, Gobichettipalayam, M. Santhanan, who presided over the function, said that the Kembanaickanpalayam Credit Society had over 4,000 members and had extended credit to the tune of Rs.4.10 crore.
Earlier, Mr. Loganthan disbursed loans to the tune of Rs.18.12 lakh to 37 persons at the function. A free eye screening camp was also conducted by a team of doctors from Dr. Agarwal's Eye Hospital on the occasion.