Amul of India

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Amul of India Empty Amul of India

Post by khandairies on Thu Sep 17, 2009 10:01 pm


Cooperatives and Economic Development
Before the cooperative movement began, the dairy industry in the Kaira District was being exploited by middlemen who supplied milk to the consumer. It began as a response to this exploitation and put a end to it. It grew because it responded to the farmers financially as well as with services. It began with two village cooperatives and 250 liters of milk per day, nothing but a trickle compared to the flood it has become today. Today Amul collects, processes and distributes over a million liters of milk and milk products per day, during the peak, on behalf of more than a thousand village cooperatives owned by half a million farmer members. Further, as Ganga-ma carries the aspirations of generations for moksha, Amul too has become a symbol of the aspirations of millions of farmers.Creating a pattern of liberation and self-reliance for every farmer to follow.
It has thrived because it is owned by farmers who have a stake in its success. And because it has been managed by capable professionals and strengthened by dedicated scientists, technologists and workers, it has forged ahead. Today in India, there are 75,000 dairy cooperative societies, spread all over the country with a membership of 10 million. The farmer in the village is now assured of a better future thanks to these cooperatives. Recently one of the European Embassies in Delhi requested us for information on the five biggest "companies" in the dairy business. The first three are in the cooperative sector - The Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF). The Kaira District Cooperative Milk Producers' Union Limited and The Mehsana District Cooperative Milk Producers' Union. The Kaira District Cooperative is the second best in the country. It helped to create GCMMF, the apex body of all cooperatives in Gujarat.
The Root Cause
In the forties the dairy industry was dominated by one firm - Polsons. Established by a rather enterprising gentleman who discovered that Kaira District, of what was then Bombay Presidency, produced a good deal of milk. He established a creamery and for a while the name Polsons was synonymous with butter - much as Amul is today.
One of Polson's business was to supply milk to Bombay. As Kaira district was an abundant source of the commodity, Polson was chosen to procure it from there. He in turn, entered into an arrangement with a number of contractors who actually went to the villages and collected the milk. Everyone was happy. Bombay received reasonably good quality milk and Polson made a handsome profit. The contractors too managed to earn large margins by overquoting the farmers. It was only the poor farmers who were unhappy for it. They invested in the animal feed and fodder and they put in their labor. Yet, it was they who received the smallest share of the Bombay consumers' rupee. The arrangement benefited everyone but them.
The First step: formation of Kaira union
Realizing that something needed to be done about the unequal balance of wealth, they turned to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel for advice. Sardar Patel knew that their only chance of earning a decent income was when they themselves gained control over the resources they created. He also knew that the cooperatives offered them the best chance of gaining that control. So he advised them to stop selling milk to Polson and form a cooperative of their own. In his opinion they were to own their own dairy unit. He said, "Throw out Polson and his milk contractors". They followed his advice and the Kaira District Cooperative Milk Producers' Union (AMUL) was born, in 1946. By good fortune, they could get as Chairman - Shri Tribhuvandas Patel, an equally remarkable man. He understood the concept of cooperation and he understood people. His integrity was absolute. Because the farmers of Kaira district trusted and respected Tribhuvandas Patel, the cooperative was able to pass through some very difficult times and eventually become a model of cooperative dairying throughout the world.
The next achievement: Operation Flood
In the late sixties, the Board drew up a project called Operation Flood (OF) - meant to create a flood of milk in India's villages with funds mobilized from foreign donations. Producers' cooperatives, which sought to link dairy development with milk marketing, were the central plank of this project. Operation Flood which started in 1970, concluded its third phase in 1996 and has to its credit these significant results:
The enormous urban market stimulus has led to sustained production increases, raising per capita availability of milk to nearly 200 grams per day.
The dependence on commercial imports of milk solids are done away with.
Modernization and expansion of the dairy industry and its infrastructure, activating a milk grid.
Marketing expanded to supply hygienic and fair priced milk to some 300 million consumers in 550 cities and towns.
A nationwide network of multi-tier producers' cooperatives, democratic in structure and professionally managed, has come into existence. Millions of small producers participate in an economic enterprise and improve the quality of their life and environment.
Dairy equipment manufacture has expanded to meet most of the industry's needs.

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