National President of Sahakar Bharti, Dr. DN Thakur has advocated the creation of a sovereign fund to overcome the capital problem of farmers. Through this fund, guarantees should be given to banks so that they can easily give loans to farmers. His suggestion came at the Rural Voice Agriculture Conclave and Nacof Award 2023 program in New Delhi.
Addressing the session 'Farmers Collective and New Rising Sectors in Agriculture', Thakur said, “To overcome the capital problem of farmers, the government should give sovereign guarantee to the banks and ask them to give easy loans to the farmers. Through this fund, the government should assure the banks that every penny will be safe. If default occurs, the government takes guarantee. There is a need to eliminate the procedural barriers to taking loans.”
He said that the Central Government spends about Rs 15-16 lakh crore annually for food security, fertilizer subsidy and other schemes for farmers. If money from state schemes is also added to this, it will reach around Rs 30-40 lakh crore. He suggested that all these schemes should be merged into one and a sovereign fund be created for the farmers and the returns received on this will guarantee every loan of the farmers.
He said that farmers' cooperative should be formed in every village. Through this, farmers will get help from crop production to crop sale. He said that corporates should not invest directly in the villages, rather investments should be promoted through cooperatives in the villages. Also, the cooperative should be made so capable that it can purchase each grain of each of its members at the Minimum Support Price (MSP) and do not face any problem in selling the produce. This will be ensured only when cooperatives are formed in every village.
He said that cooperatives will not be successful unless there is a sense of collectivity among the people. At the primary level, this organization of farmers should be allowed to remain of farmers only and money should be given in its hands, because without money nothing can be done. Give that money to the bank. With this, the business of banks will also increase and cooperatives will also become stronger.
Expressing concern over the future problems of agriculture and rural sector, he said that food security is one of the biggest concerns. He raised the question that though today India is self-reliant in food security, will this security continue in the future also. Similarly, will the energy security necessary for development always be available? He said that the problems of water and unemployment are also a big challenge for the future.
These problems cannot be solved by the government alone, rather they can be solved through collective action. For this there is a need to support the cooperative.
According to Dr Thakur, in such a big country like India, there is a need to adopt not just one model but different models. There is a need for such a model through which farmers can easily get loans, bank guarantees and arrangements can be made to purchase the produce of farmers through cooperatives in every village.