Tuesday, January 15, 2008

India: 60 Years: 60 Words: [8] Co-operative Movement

India: 60 Years: 60 Words: [8] Co-operative Movement

[India has competed 60 years of independence and to mark this, I am presenting this series of Articles, about the words, that are meaning a lot for the progress of the country. If you feel I missed some thing [For listing of words see the first article “India: 60 Years: 60 Words”] do inform me at premputar@gmail.com I will try to include that at the end of series]

Progress of free India on the roads of development and industrialization get boosted with co-operative movement and some schemes like “operation flood” or white revolution [1960] which had not only increased the productivity but also put the country on the roads of self sufficiency. Seeds of mutual understanding and co-operation are the integral part of Indian though process since the centuries and runs into blood as an inherent character of Indians. In the early years of post independence era it was felt, this Indians character can work as the most important factor for the speeding of developmental growth of the country, if we can provide a nourishing and favorable atmosphere for the germination of these seeds of centuries.

The co-operative movement in India can be bifurcated into
1] Agricultural cooperative societies
2] Non agricultural cooperative societies
The majority of working fields of the cooperative societies can be enlisted as follows
Agricultural Credit
Agricultural supplies
Agricultural Marketing
Agricultural Processing
Functional co-operatives in the fields like dairy, poultry, fisheries, fruits, vegetables etc.
Industrial co-operatives
Public Distribution of essential commodities through consumer co-operatives
Urban credit Co-operatives
Housing co-operatives

Though through out the country effects of cooperation are visible but in the states like the Maharashtra and Gujarat this movement has worked as the root cause of development, growth and back bone to upcoming of village economy, where as in the states like Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Rajasthan etc. impacts of this movement are more prominently visible.

Some, institutions and organization, like Indian Farmers Fertilizer Co-operative LTD (IFFCO), with over 30,000 cooperative societies is working successfully in setting up an effective marketing network in most of the states for selling modern farming technology instead of fertilizers alone. The National Agricultural Co-operative Marketing Federation (NAFED) has over 5000 marketing societies. These societies operate at the local wholesale market level and handle agricultural produce, are boosting this movement. It is a fact that in the banking sector the success story is no so pleasant one.

The success story of cooperative movement can be read with development of co-operative banks and agricultural industries in the Maharashtra and Amul [Anand Milk Union Limited], a cooperative society of a small village of Gujarat, which went on to become biggest brand of milk, milk and dairy product in the free India. In the 1960 National Dairy Development Board agreed to adopt the Amul model and implemented “operation Flood” and made the milk economy to reach to economy of Rs. 2,00,000 crores.

In the states like the Maharashtra, this cooperative movement doesn’t remained limited to welfare of formers as the pioneer of movement in the state, Late Shri Vasant Dada Patil went on to become the Chief Minister and former leaders like Sharad Joshi and Raju Sheety elected for the upper house [Rajya Sabha] of Parliament and M. L.A. respectively. The dominance by the sugar belt or onion producers in the sharing of political powers is the best illustration of importance of cooperative movement in the political arena of the state. It is fact that entrance into politics proved harmful for the primary objectives of the movement, which is being reflected from the deficits of numerous cooperative banks and their huge non functional assets in the state, but the part played by the cooperative sugar factories and agricultural societies in the economic and industrial development has not only covered the failure in the banking sector but also highlights the importance of this movement towards the making the country super power in the next few years.

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