For the first time, members of self-help group, maintaining a model farm developed by District Rural Development Agency at Chekkapatti in Batlagundu Union, have repaid Rs.5 lakh from their profits to the agency.
They handed over a cheque for Rs.5 lakhs to Collector S. Murugaia at the Collectore on Monday. The DRDA had developed the model farm at a cost of Rs.12.28 lakhs under Integrated Wasteland Development Project and handed it over to SHGs for maintenance under the condition that the group should repay the amount invested in model farm within the project period.
The SHG has posted a profit of Rs.8 lakhs through sale of saplings, milk, vermicompost, mushroom, honey, seedlings of various horticulture crops and horticulture produces including amla and mango for the past two years.
It collected Rs.25,000 as entry fee from trainees visiting the farm.
As per the agreement, the SHG has repaid Rs.5 lakhs as the first instalment of the total investment.
Rest of the profits would be fully invested again in the farm for production of more saplings and seedlings to meet the growing demand of farmers in many villages near it.
With the ongoing production process and sufficient orders for supply of seedlings, the members expressed hope that they would repay balance amount Rs.7.28 lakhs next year.
IWDP Coordinator, K. Ganesan said the DRDA would offer this amount to SHGs in other watershed areas in the Batlagundu union.
This amount would be rotated like revolving fund. The DRDA had fixed the responsibility on the SHG as the model farm would yield income every year.
It started giving profits within two years. At the end of second year, the SHG has taken back 25 per cent of total investments as profit.
They need not pay any amount invested on creation of asset in the farm. This model farm had been developed on 38 acres of land.