This is Subhash Mehta again in response to Edward's contribution.
Steps of Evolution:
1. All families of the community who produce some agriculture, forest, horticulture, animal husbandry, poultry, art, craft, etc. are eligible to become producer members/shareholders/owners of the company.
2. The local unemployed educated youth to be trained to become general practitioners (GPs) in agriculture, volunteers/community workers/facilitators/employees of the producer company (PC) or any other community enterprise system to take over all risks and responsibilities other than on-farm activities.
3. The PC/community enterprise system aims to complement the strength of the local community and to integrate all the facilities in a community towards building trust, cooperation and higher quality of life.
4. All producer-members have equal say in management decision on price, policy & profit sharing, etc., but management is left to the professionals
5. Profit of the company after providing for reserves will be shared proportionately among the producer-members at the end of every season depending on their contribution of produce/ product.
6. Collection, sale and profit distribution of the produce shall be:
Level 1: Base price paid as agreed at the time of contracting
Level 2: Profit distributed every year after providing for reserves.
7. Stages of building a sustainable community owned enterprise system.
a. Registration of the company
b. Election of a board of directors under the guidance of a respected father figure who will continue this role till the enterprise starts making a profit
c. Selection of professionals to staff the PC
d. Macro (5 yrs) and one year micro plans and budgets along with marketing plan for surplus produce/products submitted to all concerned institutions for seed capital, funding and or financing
e. Contracting a successful farmer of the area as the model for wide replication of member farms, transfer of know-how for integrated agriculture, production of inputs, primary value addition to increase shelf life to minimise post harvest losses and storage of seeds for the next year
f. Farm management plan/annual calendar for each member farm/enterprise
g. Create central facilities for storage, production of inputs, need based primary and secondary value addition facilities to increase shelf life of the produce to minimize post-harvest losses and logistics for marketing
h. Create the required infrastructure on each farm for water harvesting and or re-charging of wells/tanks and or tube wells
i. Create the required facilities to store produce for meeting emergencies
j. Create the required office and training facilities for members, unemployed educated youth, etc.
h. To take over responsibility from the local government/banks/etc., the delivery of all services meant for, and or required by, members and the community
Subhash Mehta, Trustee,
Devarao Shivaram Trust,
NGO Association for Agricultural Research Asia Pacific (NAARAP),
Hegenahalli PO, Devanahalli Taluka,
Bangalore Rural North, Pin Code: 562110,
email: icapsm (at) gmail.com
Tel: +91-80-28494009 / +91-80-22712290,
Read more about the facilitators
Related links and resources:
FAO's website on cooperatives and producers organisations
World Food Day
Good practices in building innovative rural institutions to increase food security
Agricultural cooperatives: paving the way for food security and rural development (Brochure)
My.Coop - Managing your agricultural cooperatives
The Group Promoter's Resource Book
The Group Enterprise Resource Book
The Group Savings Resource Book
The Inter-Group Association Resource Book
New Strategies for Mobilizing Capital in Agricultural Cooperatives
Computerizing Agricultural Cooperatives: Practical Guidelines
Cooperatives: Has their Time Come or Gone?
Agricultural cooperative development - A manual for trainers
Capital Formation in Kenyan Farmer-owned Cooperatives: a case study