Advance credit without insisting on collateral security: Agriculture Minister
TIRUCHI: Agriculture Minister Veerapandi S. Arumugam has directed cooperative banks to advance credit to groups promoted under the Tamil Nadu Women in Agriculture (TANWA) project without insisting on collateral.
He also instructed the Agriculture and Horticulture departments to buy vermi-compost manufactured by the TANWA groups.
The Minister gave the instructions while interacting with TANWA members and farmers at Thiruvalarsolai near here on Tuesday. He was responding to views expressed by Anthony Ammal, a TANWA group member, who complained that commercial banks were not extending credit to them for taking up income generating ventures such as vermi-composting or setting up poultry farms, though they had over Rs.2.50 lakh as group savings.
Mr. Arumugam asked the groups to transfer their bank account to the cooperative banks and directed the District Central Cooperative Bank and Primary Agricultural Cooperative Banks to accord priority for advancing credit to these groups. Ms. Anthony Ammal also complained that there were not many takers for vermi-compost when produced on large-scale. The Minister told her to get their produce certified by Tamil Nadu Agricultural University so that the Horticulture and Agriculture departments could procure the same.
When pointed out that the villages in the region did not have threshing yards, Mr. Arumugam directed an Agricultural Marketing Committee official to conduct a survey and send proposals for construction of yards wherever required. Funds were not a constraint for construction of threshing yards, he said.
Responding to complaints on un-remunerative prices for their produce, the Minister said the price was fixed by the Union Government. However, farmers should make use of the Marketing Committee to market their produce. They could even raise loans on their produce from the committee and sell it at a later stage in the open market when the price appreciated. He also urged farmers to look for alternative crops to improve their income.
Responding to representations made by banana growers, the Minister directed Horticulture Department officials to conduct a survey on crop damage caused by overflow of the Cauvery river when surplus water from the Mettur reservoir was released recently.
Earlier, Mr. Arumugam, accompanied by the Forest Minister N. Selvaraj; the Agriculture Secretary, Surjit K. Choudhary; the Agriculture Director, S. Kosalaraman; and the Collector, Ashish Vachhani, inspected a community nursery put up under Integrated Cereal Development Programme to promote System of Rice Intensification technique at Thirvalarsolai.