The Centre is working to provide agriculture loans to farmers in a timely manner, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said on Sunday.

NABARD is creating groups of farmers and agriculture producers to provide them cheap loans from banks and till March-end, 2,424 producer groups were set up, he said.

"The central government is working expeditiously to provide agriculture loans to farmers according to their needs and in a timely manner," Singh said at the annual conference of the Kota Co-operative Societies Ltd.

Singh said there is imbalance in the availability of credit to the agriculture sector and amongst small and big farmers.

He said the Centre has taken concrete steps to strengthen cooperatives so that they are economically viable and have active participation of their members, to make them dynamic democratic organisations.

For development of the rural economy and to increase employment opportunities in the agriculture, cooperatives have an important role to play, he added.