The Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister, Shri Radha Mohan Singh called on Government of Bihar to bear the 4% interest on loan to farmers so that they can get loans at zero percent interest. At present, the farmers of Bihar receive, loan at 7% interest, 3% of which is borne by the Central Government. Union Minister of Agriculture reiterated this at the Cooperative Conference of Primary Agriculture Cooperative Societies (PACS) organized by Indian National Cooperative Union in Motihari (East Champaran). Shri Radha Mohan Singh added that if we require to take the country ahead in the developmental arena, we will have to develop the farmers’’ agriculture as well as villages. We will have to increase the income of the farmers and for this purpose we will have to bring in another revolution.
The Minister further added that the Primary Agriculture Cooperative Societies (PACS) are the fundamental base for the development related to agriculture and cooperatives. The PACS are organized on the level of villages and have farmers as members. At present nearly 8463 Primary Agriculture Cooperative Societies (PACS) are working in the State of Bihar and almost 521 Trade Cooperatives are operational.Apart from this nearly 372 Primary Agriculture Cooperative Societies (PACS) are performing their tasks in the district of Motihari.
Shri Singh said that there must be a provision of reservation in PACs with the purpose to ensure the partnership of weaker section of the society scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, backward class and most backward classes. It is also essential to bring about institutional improvement to develop these PACS in the form of development centre of rural economy. Through these PACS farmers are provided seeds, fertilizers, agricultural equipments along with short term loan.
The Union Minister opined that the farmers must be provided more grants so as to strengthen the distribution system and substantiate the economic base of the PACS in Bihar. It is required to ensure the surplus achievement of paddy as well as wheat through the PACS so that farmers could get the appropriate support price declared by the government on the basis of their producce. Simultaneously these PACS will have to be developed in the form of institutes based on beneficial democratic values for the farmers.
The Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare further added that fifty per cent PACS do not own their own godowns in Bihar for the storage of their products. Shri Singh said that until and unless there are storage facilities, the farmers will have to bear losses. The Minister further said that it is very much imperative to have the godowns raised for more and more PACS under Integrated Cooperative Development Project, National Agriculture Development Scheme so as to enhance the storage capacity of the godowns. Shri Singh further said the rice mills should be established under National Agriculture Development Scheme. The PACS should be provided enough margin money for common business particularly for storage of off season fertilizers. The Union Minister said that the attempts are on to computerized all the 8463 Primary Agriculture Cooperative Societies in Bihar. This programme will cost almost Rs. 2000 crore. 50% of which would be borne by Central Government through NABARD,45% will be funded by Government of Bihar and rest of 5% will be provided by District State Cooperative Banks.
The Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare said that during the year 2015-16 the dairy cooperatives of Bihar were provided Rs. 149 crore, Rs. 51.05 crore for ICDP, Rs. 12.5 crore for cold storage cooperatives, Rs. 28.10 crore for the cooperatives related to marketing. In this way as a whole a sum of Rs. 240.80 crore were provided . Shri Singh reiterated his resolv that the representatives should avail themselves of different development programmes related to NCDC to remove the regional imbalances and to enjoy the economic improvement of the Societies. On this occasion, the Minister requested the personnel related to the cooperatives that the Primary Agriculture Cooperative Societies (PACS) should make the farmers aware about the Soil Health Card Scheme in their respective areas so that they could protect the fertility of their soil. Shri Singh said that existing resources to meet the necessities related to human resources development of the sophisticated techniques and cooperative personnel are inadequate. Keeping in view, the increasing needs of cooperatives movement, Shri Singh said that due to the presence of only one National Level Cooperative Training Institute in Pune the participation of Eastern States and North Eastern States cannot be materialized. The Minister further said that the State Government was requested at Bihar State Cooperative Development Conference in February 2016 that a Cooperative Management Institute of National level should be set up in Eastern Champaran, Bihar.
Shri Radha Mohan Singh said that the Central Government for the first time has requested the people that they should frame all rules and regulations and schemes for the development of agriculture. Thereafter the Ministry of Agriculture and other Central Institute will enforce these schemes throughout the country altogether. They will be provided strategic as well as financial help to make them operational.
Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare requested the State Government of Bihar that they should work together while making the blue print of the schemes so that the new ways and means could be found out to work out the problems coming in the way of agricultural development.