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THE ROLE OF CREDIT CO-OPERATIVES IN THE AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT OF ANDHRA PRADESH, INDIA
Andhra Pradesh (A.P.) is basically an agrarian economy and is known as “Granary of the South” by producing one-tenth of India’s total output of food grains. Initially the agriculturists depend more on noninstitutional sources for their credit requirements which used to squeeze the blood of the poor peasants by charging high rates of interest. Hence adequate and timely credit to the farmers on liberal terms becomes Sine qua non. Cooperatives are considered as the agencies for mobilization and development of rural resources in a planned and cost effective manner besides providing inputs, services and marketing facilities to the rural economy. In Andhra Pradesh, Credit Co-operatives are playing a significant role in serving the needy farmers by fulfilling their credit requirements. On this backdrop, an attempt is made to analyze its role in the agricultural development of the state. The main objective of the study is to evaluate the performance of Credit Cooperatives by analyzing its deposits, credit and impact of credit on the beneficiaries. In the state, Cooperatives are functioning in most efficient manner by providing adequate, cheap and timely credit to agricultural sector. These are providing not only credit, but also non-credit services for all activities under primary, secondary and tertiary sectors of rural economy. Through cooperative credit the farmers benefitted to maximum extent by increasing their agricultural output which in turn increased their levels of employment and income. Hence it can be concluded that cooperative credit has become a powerful tool in the agricultural development of the state.
Keywords: Co-operatives, credit, irrigation, yield, term-loans, HYV, allied sector