May 10, 2016

2016: ITP Highlight # 06

Farmer groups, collectives, cooperatives and companies are promoted with huge expectations but very few of them actually become viable and sustainable business entities. Shah explores why... 

Farmer Producer Companies

Fermenting New Wine for New Bottles

Tushaar Shah

Organising small-holders into viable organizations has long been considered critical to sustaining their livelihoods, especially in the hard times that India’s agriculture is facing today. However, India’s track record of forming robust, self-sustaining farmer cooperatives has been poor ever since the early 1990s when the movement began. For long, restrictive laws were blamed for their failure. But most of the 2,000 farmer producer companies registered under a new amendment to the Companies Act 1956 appear like old wine in a new bottle. This highlight explores why, and argues for the need to focus on the logic and process of promoting new farmer cooperatives to improve their success rate.

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