At a time when farmer suicides are on the rise in the State, most ryots from Srikakulam district have turned to dairy farming as a vocation. Interestingly, they have joined hands to form joint liability groups (JLGs) to obtain loans from banks in a hassle-free manner, thanks patronage of the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD).
Thanks to JLGs, they now earn additional income through milk production. Banks extend up to Rs. 1.5 lakh as loan to each JLG, as the former are assured of repayment by milk procurement agencies, which pay monthly instalments directly and reimburse the remaining amount to the villagers.
With the support of NABARD, Andhra Pradesh Gramin Vikas Bank (APGVB) extended Rs. 45 lakh as loan to various JLGs in Gara mandal. The result: more than 40 groups bought 300 cows, each costing between Rs. 25, 000 and Rs. 30,000.
“Each cow is expected to give eight litres of milk. The procurement agencies pay Rs. 32.5 per litre, which means that each cow helps the villagers earn around Rs. 250 a day. And, the villagers spend around Rs. 75 a day on fodder,” NABARD Srikakulam District Development Manager M.D. Vasudevan and APGVB Srikuarmam branch manager J. Srinivasa Rao said.