Karthik Madhavan

COIMBATORE: Cooperative institutions in the district will lend around Rs. 160 crore for agriculture in the current financial year.

Special officer, Coimbatore District Central Cooperative Bank, R. Indumathi said 263 primary agriculture cooperative societies in Coimbatore and Tirupur districts would achieve the target by the end of the financial year.

The money the institutions lend constitutes between 8 and 10 per cent of the total loans given for agriculture.

A considerable chunk of the loan will go to coconut farmers, who have been allotted around Rs. 60 crore. Banana farmers will get about Rs. 50 crore, sugarcane farmers, including those who have registered with mills, Rs. 19.11 crore. This year's target is at least Rs. 30 crore more than last year's. Last year the cooperative societies lent Rs. 130.30 crore. Farmers who cultivate paddy, maize, groundnut, turmeric, mulberry and vegetables will also be covered under the loan.

This year, the quantum of loan has also been increased. Paddy farmers will get Rs. 12,000 for an acre and this includes fertilizers and pesticides. This is Rs. 1,000 more than last year's. Coconut farmers will get Rs. 12,000 as maintenance, which is Rs. 2,000 more than last year's. Banana farmers will be given Rs. 32,500, an increase of Rs. 4,500. There is also a similar increase for sugarcane.

The scale of finance was decided after the bankers, farmers and district agriculture officials met to decide the cost of cultivation and the quantum of loan for each crop. Ms. Indumathi says all primary agriculture cooperative societies have been geared up for the purpose.