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Survival and sustenance strategy of primary agricultural cooperative credit societies in India: a fuzzy interpretive structural modelling approach

Debadutta Kumar Panda (Department of Strategy and General Management, Xavier Institute of Management (XIMB), XIM University, Bhubaneswar, India)
Kaushik Bhattacharjee (IBS Hyderabad, Hyderabad, India)
Debmallya Chatterjee (SPJIMR, Mumbai, India)
Sankarshan Basu (Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Bangalore, Bangalore, India)

International Journal of Social Economics

ISSN: 0306-8293

Article publication date: 12 January 2023

Issue publication date: 17 May 2023




Primary agricultural cooperative credit societies (PACSs) in India are considered to be the backbone of the last mile delivery of rural credit for landless and marginal farmers and the poorest sections of the society. Contribution of PACS in social welfare is well documented. However, in spite of being such important form of organization at the grass root level, the authors find a typical baffling phenomenon which is fluctuating growth of PACS. Given that PACS have not been able to establish a consistent growth rate, thus hindering its trajectory to become a strong and consolidated organizational form, it is natural to investigate and identify those success factors that are critical for a newly formed PACS to survive and sustain. Hence it is necessary to undertake a strategic assessment of the function of PACS and hence identify those critical success factors (CSFs). This paper aims to address this issue.


The authors review the existing literature and conduct interview with experts and other stakeholders with the purpose to gain a view of the strategic situation of PACS in India, especially with respect to their birth and death processes and identify a set of factors that are critical to the survival and sustenance of PACS. Based on the inputs from the experts, we modelled the interrelationships amongst these CSFs using interpretive structural modelling (ISM). Further, fuzzy Matriced’ Impacts Croise's Multiplication Appliquée a UN Classement (MICMAC) analysis is performed to cluster these CSFs into four quadrants based on their influence and dependence in the system.


The findings point out that a hierarchical interconnected structure exists amongst the CSFs that influence the survival and sustenance of the PACSs. “Quality and Motivation of Management” was found to be driving all other factors so far the survival of any PACS is considered. Also the authors have found that “Loan Recovery” is the most sensitive factor that needs to be taken care of for the sustenance of PACS. These findings are in the expected line and commensurate with the conventional wisdom yet to be documented till date.


It is a forward-looking analysis that tries to find out the CSFs for the survival of PACS in order to face the changing economic scenario of India which is still agrarian in nature. Both in terms of research question as well as methodology, to the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is first of its kind so far PACS are concerned being one of the most important but neglected entities in India; so far the last mile rural agricultural credit delivery is concerned, this study will help the policy makers to develop a holistic viewpoint in relation to long term sustenance of PACS.

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Panda, D.K., Bhattacharjee, K., Chatterjee, D. and Basu, S. (2023), "Survival and sustenance strategy of primary agricultural cooperative credit societies in India: a fuzzy interpretive structural modelling approach", International Journal of Social Economics, Vol. 50 No. 6, pp. 821-838.



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