Monday, September 24, 2012

One more tribute to Verghese Kurien

by Tushaar Shah in EPW. One excerpt:
"Kurien’s most significant contribution was in prevailing upon successive prime ministers to keep multinational dairy companies out of India for 30 years while our own indigenous dairy industry took root and came into its own. But for this grace period, the complexion of Indian dairying today would have been very different. To understand how different, all one needs to do is to walk into a grocer’s shop in Colombo, Dhaka or ­Lahore and ask for a local brand of packaged milk or product. There is hardly any local dairy industry or indigenous dairy brand in any other south Asian country – the bulk of the urban demand for dairy products in these countries is met by milk from New Zealand even as their own local milk producers crave for a remunerative market. On the other hand, one can pick up several indigenous co­operative and ­private brands of packaged milk and other dairy products in any ­Indian town or city.
Kurien’s thinking is particularly relevant today in the context of the ongoing debate on foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail. If what FDI has done to the indigenous dairy industry in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh is any indication, FDI in multi-brand ­retail may not augur well for Indian agriculture unless there is some way to ­ensure that the new players source the bulk of their farm products locally
Kurien was deeply wedded to the co­operative ideal. He believed that putting the farmer in control of production, procurement, processing and marketing of farm produce was the only way to develop Indian agriculture. He also espoused the view that strong cooperatives underpin democratic governance structures at the state and central level. However, he also believed that the cooperative movement in India suffered from a poverty of ideas. He accepted international cooperative principles as the normative basis for cooperation but questioned if adhering to these principles ensured success of cooperatives.
In the dairy cooperative movement, Kurien ensured that there was no poverty of ideas. In replicating Amul under Operation Flood I and II, Kurien distilled a set of elegant and compelling design principles derived from the success of several early dairy unions of Gujarat: First, the presence of a stable and remunerative market is a precondition for surplus milk production. Second, one must capture the market before organising producers into cooperatives. Third, initially externally sourced milk supplies need to be used to capture the market while cooperatives are being established. Fourth, as the market is captured, extant traditional trade is forced to withdraw and surplus milk in the villages has ­nowhere to go but to the newly-formed cooperatives. Fifth, for sustaining a distinctive competitive advantage, a cooperative union must have a powder plant to deal with seasonal fluctuations in milk production. Sixth, for the new structure to remain efficient and subservient to producers, it needs to be managed by professionals accountable to a board elected by producers."
" I am a damn native"says Kurien in this documentary  on the occasion of nintieth birthday:
Shyam Benegal made a documentary Manthan in 1976 available on YouTube, which I have not watched yer. Waiting for somebody who is also interested and who can translate the dialogues.

1 comment:

Capt. Ajit Vadakayil said...

This is gonna shock all of you , out of your pants.
It was decided in the Bilderberg club long ago, to gate crash into Indian economy, by a conspiracy.
If you want to know what this elite club is –
Punch into Google search
Punch into Google search
The banking cartel had been given a toe hold in India, by giving away FDI in multi-brand retail and FDI in insurance.
Insurance affects transport costs and trade costs -- it requires perception to understand all this.
The approach to micro economics and macro economics , cannot be top down or bottoms up, every which way, based on testosterone levels ..
Economics for India must be re-written by our intelligentsia, where the TERRAIN MUST PREVAIL OVER THE MAP .
This must be a win-win model ensuring the down trodden are not left behind, with freedom from “risk of slavery” as number one condition.
We are confusing GDP with economic progress. We are destroying entrepreneurial activity and eating our own children.
Fitch , S&P and Moody’s are bouncers for the banking cartel. The economics of Rothschild’s Indian alchemist Manmohan and his gunslinger Montek is VULGAR pseudo science.
DORKS and desh drohis shall lay off !
Capt ajit vadakayil