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On 75th anniversary, call for Amul to help other cooperative sectors

The co-operative model will prove crucial in making agriculture 'atmanirbhar', said Amit Shah

Amul | Amit Shah

Vinay Umarji 

Amit Shah
Amit Shah, Union Home Minister (File: Photo)

Even as it celebrated 75 years of its foundation on Sunday, dairy and food major is now being asked to share its success with other cooperative sectors and help them market their products.

Speaking at the 75th foundation year ceremony here, home and cooperation minister said, “Many farmers in other cooperative sectors have shifted to organic products but they do not have a platform to market their goods. Can and other cooperatives provide them a platform that can help them market their products? It is not right (for Amul) to limit itself to 3.6 million milk producing farmers but look beyond.”

Asking the dairy cooperative major to play a “more proactive role” in the cooperative sector, Shah said, “Agricu­lture farming, animal husbandry and milk processing need to be seen in a new light.”

Launched as a cooperative movement in 1946 to protect local dairy farmers from monopolistic practices of the then Polson dairy in Anand, Amul’s journey of milk procurement alone, which began with 200 litres daily, has today reached nearly 30 million litres per day.

saw Dr Verghese Kurien help develop milk powder from buffalo milk in the early 1950s, followed by cheese and baby food. By the 1970s, the standalone cooperative dairy formed Gujarat Cooper­a­tive Milk Marketing Federa­tion (GCMMF), thereby bringing other milk cooperative district unions under one state-wide marketing organisation.

To date, there are 18 such district unions under the federation, accounting for a total turnover of over Rs 53,000 crore as of financial year 2020-21.

On its part, Amul has continued to spread its wings from merely procuring milk from within Gujarat to outside the state as well. Since 2010, when Amul embarked to procure milk from outside, the dairy cooperative added four million litres of milk procurement and 700,000 milk producers from other states.

In the last few years, the country’s largest dairy company has also gradually forayed and now strengthened its base in non-dairy products, thereby taking other food and staples majors head-on. Last year, Amul forayed into edible oils with the launch of Janmay at an investment of Rs 500 crore.

Since then, Amul has been foraying into wheat flour, ready-to-eat frozen snacks and sweets, apart from ramping up its chocolate manufacturing capacity. Today, Amul has over 50 products with more than 1,070 stock-keeping units.

However, Shah’s call for extending its horizons has come at a time when Amul on Sunday launched its own branded organic fertiliser, along with an ethno veterinary supplement plant. In doing so, Amul has started looking beyond dairy and helping other segments.

Meanwhile, National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC), under the aegis of the ministry of fisheries, animal husbandry & dairy and ministry of cooperation, launched the ‘Sahakar’ scheme for the dairy sector.

With a corpus of Rs 5,000 crore, the scheme aims to provide financial assistance to the dairy sector.

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First Published: Mon, November 01 2021. 00:13 IST