300 cattle owners join hands, form public sector firm

Dissatisfied with red-tapism and corruption in cooperative societies, 300 cattle owners in six Meerut villages have come together to form a public sector company. All these members have become shareholders in Meerut Milk Producers Company Ltd and will soon start supplying ‘quality milk’ to a large number of households through a city outlet and mobile van. The company has been registered as a farmer producer organisation (FPO).

According to the concept, farmers, who are the producers of agricultural products, can form groups and register themselves under the Indian Companies Act. They can produce and sell their products like any other business. An NGO, Research and Relief Society, with the guidance of National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) facilitated the development at the local level. Naveen Pradhan, the NGO’s director, told TOI, “Cooperative society format has practically failed due to too much of political interference and harassment from middlemen. On the contrary, FPO format is a completely commercial set-up with stakeholders as company’s shareholders. Earlier, the milk producers were not getting due price for their milk. But now directly governed by Central government under the Companies Act, it has become an autonomous body.”

The preparation for this company was going on since the past eight months. According to Pradhan, 50 milk producers each from six villages of Meerut – Gagsona, Naidu, Tigri, Gadanpura, Ghatian and Mawana Khurd – were convinced to come together. Everyone provided the equity support of Rs 1,000 each. Cost analysis of the product was done along with the survey of the target regions. “It was found that 90% of the end users were not satisfied with the quality of milk they were getting. Now we will provide them with better quality of milk at comparatively lesser cost. Right now market price of pouch milk is Rs 58 a kg and we are going to provide them this at Rs 50,” said Neeraj Kumar, managing director of Meerut Milk Producers Company Ltd.

Excellent fodder quality will also be purchased in bulk by the company and distributed to the milk producers to obtain good quality milk. According to Pradhan, so far total of six quintals of milk has started arriving in five collection centres in the village. Right now, the company is selling this milk to bulk buyers. Once supply is regulated, the company will start selling milk in targeted households on Roorkee Road, Mawana Road and Garh Road through a mobile van. Besides, milk will also be available at Shastri Nagar outlet which has just been opened. For three years, NABARD will provide complete support to the company in all aspects. According to district development manager of NABARD, VK Srivastava, “NABARD will provide constructive support to the company for 3 years from the date of registration. It will include salary of CEO, training support to the board of directors, training to develop infrastructure, convergence with state government schemes and help in getting soft loans for machinery. At a later stage, financial support of Rs 10 lakh can also be provided.”

Source: This article has been originally published at http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/meerut/-300-cattle-owners-join-hands-form-public-sector-firm/articleshow/55641516.cms

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© 2015 by NGO Aid India.

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