Staff Reporter

It helps workers to get more loans for various activities

TUTICORIN: A farmers' club formed by National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) at Aadanoor under Ottapidaram block a few months ago has turned out to be a `messiah' for the residents.

It has helped them to get "enhanced bank credit" for various activities.

Since its formation under the Farmers' Club Programme (FCP) mooted by the Centre, the club, known as `Veerapandia Kattabomman Farmers' Club' assisted the farmers to forge better bank-borrower relationship. This has helped them fetch educational loans worth about Rs 5.35 lakh for their children.

The club mobilised 71 villagers to enter into a maize farming contract for the first time on around 360 acres spread over rain fed areas.

Owing to a representation made by the club, Indian Overseas Bank, Eppothumvendran branch, released loans to the tune of Rs 10.65 lakh to raise maize at the rate of Rs 3,000 an acre. This is much above the scale of finance fixed by District Level Task Force.

The enhanced credit proved useful to the farmers to procure agricultural inputs such as high yielding seeds and bio fertilizers.

Prior to sowing of maize, the club organised workshops to disseminate information on the `salient features of contract farming' and `crop protection methods.'

"The workshops were of immense help to understand nuances of contract farming as a system for production and supply of agricultural produce under forward contracts between producers/suppliers and buyers, a concept alien to us, till then," villagers say.

The other farming activities in the village, with a population of just 2,209 too, witnessed a boom after the club came into existence.

The club facilitated disbursal of loans to the tune of Rs 1.75 lakh to nine villagers to rear goats and Rs 2.88 lakh to another group for diary activities, during the third quarter of the current fiscal.