Cabinet nod to set up 2,00,000 agri-fishery-dairy cooperatives
To strengthen the cooperative movement in the country, the union Cabinet approved setting up of two hundred thousand new Primary Agriculture Credit Societies (PACS), dairy and fishery cooperatives in uncovered villages and panchayats over the next five years. ,
“The plan would be implemented with the support of NABARD, National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) and National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB) through the convergence of various schemes of Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying by leveraging the ‘whole-of-Government’ approach,” the government said in a statement.
The government would provide farmer members with requisite forward and backward linkages to market their produce, enhance their income, and obtain credit facilities and other services at the village level.
Currently, there are around 98,995 PACS in the country with a member base of 130 million. PACS constitute the lowest tier of the Short-Term Cooperative Credit (STCC) structure in the country, providing short-term and medium-term credit and other input services, like seed, fertilizer and pesticide distribution to member farmers. These are refinanced by NABARD through 352 District Central Cooperative Banks (DCCBs) and 34 State Cooperative Banks (StCBs).
Primary dairy cooperative societies, around 1,99,182 in number and having around 15 million members, are engaged in the procurement of milk from the farmers, providing milk testing facilities, cattle feed sale, extension services, etc. to the members.
Primary fishery cooperative societies, around 25,297 in number and having around 3.8 million members, cater to one of the most marginalized sections of the society, providing them marketing facilities, assisting in procuring fishing equipment, fish seed and feed, and also providing credit facilities to the members on a limited scale.
However, there are still 1,60,000 Panchayats without PACS and nearly 2,00,000 Panchayats without any dairy cooperative society.
Ministry of Cooperation, headed by Amit Shah, has formulated a plan to establish viable PACS in each uncovered Panchayat, viable dairy cooperatives in each uncovered Panchayat/village and viable fishery cooperatives in each coastal Panchayat/village as well as Panchayat/village having large water bodies, and strengthen the existing PACS/dairy/fishery cooperatives through a convergence of various government schemes.