The seeds of this remarkable narrative were planted over 74 years ago in a little hamlet in Gujarat, western India. The cooperative movement was sparked by the local trade cartel’s exploitative trade tactics. Farmers in the district approached the famous Indian patriot Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel for help, enraged by the trade’s unfair and deceptive techniques. He encouraged them to cut out the middlemen and organize their own cooperative, in which they would be in charge of procurement, processing, and marketing.
Farmers in this area went on strike in 1946.
The milk strikers are refusing to be bullied by the cartel. They formed their own cooperative in 1946, inspired by Sardar Patel and guided by leaders such as Morarji Desai and Tribhuvandas Patel.
The Kaira District Co-operative Milk Producers Union Ltd., which is now known as Amul Dairy, began with just two village dairy co-operative societies and 247 liters of milk. Thanks to the inspired leadership of Tribhuvandas Patel, the founder Chairman, and the dedicated professionalism of Dr. Verghese Kurien, who was entrusted with overseeing the dairy from 1950, Amul has grown from strength to strength.
Lal Bahadur Shastri, India’s then-Prime Minister, agreed that the same technique should be used to develop a National Dairy Development Policy. He
Amul’s success can be ascribed to four key aspects, according to experts. Farmers owned the dairy, their elected officials ran the village societies and the district union, and they hired specialists to run the dairy and oversee its operations. Above all, the co-operatives were attentive to farmers’ needs and responsive to their requests.
In 1965, at his request, the National Dairy Development Board was established with the primary goal of imitating the Amul model. Dr. Kurien was appointed Chairman of the institution and given the task of replicating the concept across the country.
The Amul Model of dairy development is a three-tiered structure with village-level dairy cooperative organizations federated under a milk cooperative.
The Amul Model has aided India in becoming the world’s largest milk producer. In 185903 dairy cooperative societies across the country, more than 16 million milk producers pour their milk. Their milk is processed in 222 District Co-operative Milk Unions and marketed by 28 State Marketing Federations, ensuring that millions of people have a better life.
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