Co-operatives Movement in India

After the introduction of cooperative societies Act 1904, the cooperative movement started. Cooperatives were organized to break the poverty cycle of small farmers,which was due to the poor facilities, low productivity, famines and the heavy dependence on money lenders, who charged heavy rate of interest. The farmers were also exploited by the intermediaries engaged in the marketing of the produce.

These co-operatives formed aimed to encourage thrift and wide use of credit.In 1912, a legislation was passed to give the power to the cooperatives (other than credit cooperatives) to be incorporated. In 1918 again, the responsibility for cooperative legislation was given to state governments. During the period 1920-1940, many co- operative societies came into existence. It is interesting to note that a very large number of cooperatives were from agriculture field. The number went on increasing and more and more emphasis was laid in the formation of cooperatives in the subsequent five year plans. National Cooperative Development Corporation has reported in 1992, that there were 3,38,000 cooperatives with membership of about 15.60 crore people with 43.7% share of agricultural credit. This was an impressive achievement for a country like India in less than half a century after its independence.Again under the Operation Flood (OF) programme stress was laid on the formation of milk cooperatives.

i. Anand Pattern Co-operatives
An introduction to Anand Pattern of co-operative has been given in the Unit (1.4).We know that the success of Kaira District Co-operative Milk Union popularly known as “AMUL” lead to the emergence of the strong developmental tool known as “Anand Pattern”. It is designed to support the production, procurement, processing and marketing/distribution of milk and milk products. It is owned by the milk producing farmers. The salient features of Anand Pattern of Dairy Co-operatives(APDCs) are as under.
  •  A single commodity approach
  •  Decentralised decision making and producers elected leadership
  •  A three- tier organizational structure
  •  Employment of professionals
  •  Accountability of these professional to milk producers
  •  Provision of providing technical inputs
  •  Integration of production, procurement, processing and marketing functions
  •  Regular audit
  •  Contribution to development of village
Amul pattern provides opportunity to farmers to control over the resources they create. The farmers elect those who manage their affairs and subsequently appoint professional managers and hold them accountable.The most important factor is that the cooperatives organized both in the villages as well as the District Union are in a purely democratically knit system. The milk producers own elected representatives form the Board of Directors of the Union.

The Union’s board appoint a General Manager and other professional staff for day-to-day working of the union. Thus, the institutional structure wherein the farmer producers frames the general policies for conducting the milk business through the help of professionals. They look themselves that the policies laid are pursued in the right direction in the interest of the producer members emerges and grows consistently. The Anand Union grew gradually in the 50s and 60s and developed 30to become a successful model to be followed in rest of the country.

The basic unit in the Anand Pattern is the Village Milk Producers’ Co-operative Society, a voluntary association of milk producers in a village, who wish to market their milk collectively. Every milk producer can become a member of the Co-operative Society. In the general meeting of members, representatives are elected to form a managing committee, which manages the day-to-day affairs of milk collection and its testing for fat content, sale of cattle feed etc. Each society also provide Artificial Insemination (A.I.) services and Veterinary First-Aid.

The primary milk producers’ societies are affiliated to a district union, which owns and operates a feeder/balancing dairy, cattle feed plant and facilities for production of semen and its distribution. The Union also operates a network of veterinarians to provide routine and emergency services for animal health care. The dairy, owned by a Union, usually has a milk drying plant to convert the seasonal surpluses into milk powder and other conserved products. With the help of the dairy plant, the Union is able to ensure that the milk producers get 80-90% of the lean season price even in the flush season.

The cattle feed plant owned and operated by the co-operative union is able to provide nutritionally balanced cattle feed at prices 20-30% lower than the prices of the traditional feeds. The milk producers are therefore able to substantially increase their returns from milk production because of the better returns for their milk and lower feeding costs. Each co-operative dairy tries to market the bulk of its milk as liquid milk and converts the surplus milk into products. The profits made by the dairy are redistributed to the milk producers as a subsidiary payment. Many Societies are able to pay 12-15% bonus to their milk producers based on the business transacted with their union.

It was in the year 1964 that the Prime Minister of India Late Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri after visiting Anand and having convinced himself of the benefits that accrued to the rural Milk Producers desired that a national body should come up,which would help replicate dairying through cooperatives on Anand Pattern in the other parts of the country. Thus, came into existence the National Dairy Development Board in September, 1965. In 1969, the National Dairy Development Board formulated an integrated dairy development programme popularly known as operation Flood-I programme. The proposal envisaged 18 Anand Pattern Dairy Cooperatives in the hinter-land milk sheds of India’s four major Metropolitan Cities viz. : Calcutta(Kolkata), Bombay (Mumbai), Delhi and Madras (Chennai), to provide for guaranteed investment in milk producers organization, milk production, processing and marketing.

Each structure thus erected was to be handed over to the producers whose milk handled thereby put this instrument of development into the hands of rural milk producers. Concurrently in the four major cities, the urban dairy plants capacities were to be built up so that they could capture a commanding share of the market for milk. A beginning was made in the year 1970 with the funds generated from out of the conserved commodities received as gift from the World Food Programme.

The funds generated provided the finances for operation Flood Programme as a whole. To handle the donated commodities, generation of funds and their disbursements for procurement, the Government of India set up the Indian Dairy Corporation which became the finance and promotion house in the country’s dairy development. The NDDB became the official technical expertise body for the IDC.

Now, IDC has merged with NDDB. With the implementation of this programme till March, 1981, it became possible for establishing 13270 Villages Dairy Cooperative Societies and to bring into the fold of cooperative ambit around 17.47 lakes farmers families. The capacity of the rural dairy plants was enhanced form the pre-project level of 6.6 lakh litres per day to 45.38 lakh litres per day and the throughput level raised form 4.60 lakh litres per day to 33.87 lakh litres per day. Similarly, the milk marketing capacity of the metro dairy plants could be raised from the pre-project level of 10 lakh litres per day to 29 lakh litres per day and the throughput form 9.02 lakh liters per day to 22.76 lakh litres per day.

ii. Co-operatives in Dairy Development
According to the All India Report on Agricultural Census 1970-71, there have been some 70.50 million households cultivating around 162.12 million hectares of land in India. Of the total households engaged in agricultural farming and operating different sizes of land, approximately 70% households have been operating in less than two hectares of land. These farming families operate some 21% of the total cultivated land in India. It is significant to note that of the total agriculture farming units in India, about 33% cultivated land holding size is less than 0.5 hectares. Another 18% operated land holdings between 0.5-1.0 hectares. Those who cultivated land between 1.0-2.0 hectares were around 19% of the total cultivators in India (1970-71). The human population is increasing day by day-and –the size of land holdings are further being split into smaller size groups. Thus the role of dairying in the economy of the farmer has gained further importance in the present context.

As far as the organized attempt in dairying is concerned, in this country we have seen three forms of organization - private, government and co-operatives. The private dairies by and large have been observed to be solely interested in earning maximum possible profits and have never cared for providing the necessary incentives for milk production. Obviously, there can be no hope for improving the dairy industry by depending on private enterprises owning and operating milk plants. The performance of city milk supply schemes, managed by the governments, did not also prove satisfactory and encouraging. The experience of most successful Dairy Cooperatives such as Amul and the results of Operation Flood programme being implemented by the Indian Dairy Corporation/National Dairy Development Board through cooperative organizations has shown that organizing dairying on co-operative lines would only yield desired results. How milk co-operatives have emerged as the most cohesive organizations of the farmers which can handle the milk procurement,transport, processing and marketing of milk on the one hand and how they canimprove and enhance the milk production through an infrastructure designed for the purpose and also raise the incomes and social standards of the rural community in the country are some of the important points, which need special emphasis.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.


Most Reading