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Group Lending Scheme Operating Through Primary Agricultural Credit Society: A Critical Assessment

  • Amit Kundu
  • Suranjana Mitra

The basic objective of the paper is to identify the effectiveness of group lending-based microfinance program operating through Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS) in improving the economic condition among the rural participants in two blocks of Hooghly district in West Bengal. For the impact study, both Difference-in-Difference and First Difference methods have been considered. With the help of longitudinal data, the methods have been applied to minimize the possibility of selection bias during the time of drawing samples. It was found from the field survey that very few marginal farmers had taken credit from their respective groups for agricultural purposes. Results reveal that there has been no significant impact of microfinance program in terms of improvement of the outcome variables among the member households, in spite of the low interest rate charged on loans, high repayment rate within the groups and small size of Self-Help Groups (SHGs). The reasons for the same are lack of skill-based training programs for the members of groups and lack of marketing facilities to promote and sell the products produced by the members of SHGs. The only positive aspect is that the members can now protect themselves from the clutches of professional moneylenders who charge exorbitant interest rates.

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Article provided by IUP Publications in its journal The IUP Journal of Managerial Economics.

Volume (Year): VIII (2010)
Issue (Month): 3 (August)
Pages: 61-77

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Handle: RePEc:icf:icfjme:v:08:y:2010:i:3:p:61-77
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  1. Giné, Xavier & Karlan, Dean S., 2007. "Group versus Individual Liability: A Field Experiment in the Philippines," CEPR Discussion Papers 6193, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Ricardo Bebczuk & Francisco Haimovich, 2007. "MDGs and Microcredit: An Empirical Evaluation for Latin American Countries," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0048, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
  3. Xavier Gine & Dean Karlan, 2006. "Group versus Individual Liability: A Field Experiment in the Philippines," Working Papers 940, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  4. Coleman, Brett E., 2006. "Microfinance in Northeast Thailand: Who benefits and how much?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 34(9), pages 1612-1638, September.
  5. Coleman, Brett E., 1999. "The impact of group lending in Northeast Thailand," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 105-141, October.
  6. Karlan, Dean S. & Zinman, Jonathan, 2009. "Expanding Microenterprise Credit Access: Using Randomized Supply Decisions to Estimate the Impacts in Manila," CEPR Discussion Papers 7396, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Beatriz Armendariz & Jonathan Morduch, 2007. "The Economics of Microfinance," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262512017, June.
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