Even as paddy cultivation has reached the half stage mark in Tiruchi district, disbursal of crop loan is yet to gain momentum.
As per the target, the Department of Cooperation should achieve a crop loan target to the tune of ₹276 crore for the current year in Tiruchi district. Of it, the target for paddy farmers is ₹183 crore.
In normal course, disbursal of crop loan should be completed within the second or third week of December as farmers incur nearly 75% of overhead expenses on paddy cultivation mainly between September and December. They require money for various farm activities such as ploughing, field preparation, watering, raising nurseries, transplantation, clearing weeds and applying fertilizers. The overhead expenses will be minimal beyond December. It means that the Cooperative Department should have achieved the target by this time.
But the department has so far disbursed (up to December 13), ₹117 crore as against the target of ₹183 crore. It is ₹66 crore less than the target. A total of 22,599 farmers have so far received loan from various Primary Agricultural Cooperative Credit Societies.
“More than 50% of the farmers, who had applied crop loan from various PACCS, are yet to be sanctioned loan. They are making frequent visits to credit societies and banks. The inordinate delay has forced them to seek loan from private money lenders at extraordinary rate. It is not a healthy trend,” says Mahathanapuram V. Rajaram, president, Cauvery Delta Farmers Welfare Association.
The issue came up for discussion at the review meeting of Cooperative department at the Collectorate on Wednesday.
It has been learnt that Collector K. Rajamani, who conducted the review meeting, expressed dismay over delay in achieving the target. Asking the officials to revisit the PACCS wise target, he directed them to achieve the target within December 31.