The Indian government has approved a plan to establish Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS), viable dairy cooperatives, and viable fishery cooperatives in uncovered Panchayats, villages, and coastal areas with large water bodies. The initial target is to establish two lakh multipurpose PACS/dairy/fishery cooperatives in the next five years.
The plan is to be implemented with the support of NABARD, NDDB, and NFDB through convergence of various schemes of the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying. The plan aims to enable farmers to set up necessary infrastructure to diversify their business activities and provide them with requisite forward and backward linkages to market their produce, obtain credit facilities and other services at the village level.
The plan also includes winding up non-viable primary cooperative societies and establishing new ones in their area of operation. The government will leverage a whole-of-government approach to enable these societies to set up and modernize necessary infrastructure for diversifying their activities, like milk testing laboratories, bulk milk coolers, milk processing units, construction of biofloc ponds, fish kiosks, development of hatcheries, and acquiring deep sea fishing vessels. The government plans to link PACS/dairy/fishery cooperative societies with their respective district and state-level federations.