Business Programme of Co-operative Societies
A. Plan of Production and Marketing Facilities: In successful implementation of a long-term farm management programme provision of various new facilities and improvement of existing facilities will be needed. The facilities may be owned by individual farmers, groups of farmers, agricultural co-operatives or government agencies at local and national levels.
In deciding the establishment of the facilities it must be carefully considered whether they can serve sufficiently the following purposes: (1) To supplement or replace the agricultural labor. (2) To control over-investment of farmers and to reduce the cost. (3) To increase the commercial value of the products. (4) To market in favorable terms. (5) To contribute to raise technical standard in the area. (6) To serve as a key base for farm guidance activities.
Other important aspects to be taken into consideration in planning the establishment of facilities are the following:
(1) Whether it is indispensable for increasing productivity of major crops.
(2) Whether there is a strong demand for the facility among members and assurance of its full utilization.
(3) Whether continuous and stable production of crop for which the facility is established, is ensured under the long-term production programme.
(4) Whether management of the facility is economically feasible.
The types of facilities that may be required:
(1) Facilities for work: Workshop, Center for utilizing machinery, Land consolidation facility, joint insecticide facilities, Mixing plant for fertilizers, Mixing plant for feed stuffs, Transportation facility, etc.
(2) Cultivation or breeding facilities: Joint seed bed, Joint breeding facility, Hatchery, Artificial insemination center, Silo, Pond, Irrigation and draining facility, Green house, etc.
(3) Processing facilities : Drying facility, Processing facility for fruits, vegetables and livestock products, etc.
(4) Facilities for assembly and marketing of products: Assembly center, Grading and packing facility, Livestock market, Fruits and vegetable market, etc.
(5) Storing facilities: Agricultural warehouse, Grain silo, Cold-storage, Ware-house for production material. etc.
(6) Maintenance facilities : Repair shop for agricultural machinery, Mobile repair shop, etc.
(7) Sales facilities : Retail store for agricultural products, Mobile store. etc.
(8) Other facilities : Wire communication facility, Joint cooking facility, Nursery school, Meeting hall, Training center, etc.
B. Marketing, Supply and Fund Programme
Agricultural co-operatives must coordinate and integrate marketing, supply and credit programme while promoting farm guidance so that these integrated functions may induce farmers to make more efforts to improve their farm management.
(1) Marketing Programme : Effective performance of agricultural co-operatives in the field of marketing is a very essential element in successful farm gui-dance activities and vice versa. With regard to the marketing activities of the co-operatives, following are some of the ques-tion that need to be looked into. Are present performance, in the field of marketing, in accordance with marketing strategy?
Are not co-operalive functioning as mere procure-ment agents ? Are not co-operatives waiting for members to bring their products whatever they may be rather than to procure those commodities with commercial value in a systematic way ? Are not co-operatives concentrating their procurement only on those under the government control so that co-operatives may be ensured more commission income if they handle more ?
In many cases the following points are mentioned as obstacles for better marketing activities :
(a) instability of market price ; (b) traditional and inefficient performance of wholesale market ; (c) lack of members’ loyalty towards Co-operatives ; (d) difficulty of production and shipping control ; (e) unstandardized quality ; (f) low rates of business commissions.
These are more or less the result of inefficient marketing and not the causes of inefficiency.
(2) Programme for Supply of Production Material and Funds :
Supply of production material through agricultural co-operatives is another important function in helping farm management
improvement of members. According to the farm management programme of the individual members, the assessment of real requirements should be made and accordingly the supply pro-gramme is to be formulated.
The groups of farmers organised by types of crops may also play an important role in making better supply programme through arrangements for joint supply of farm requisites. Also, the farmers may avoid unnecessary investment or unnece-ssary purchase of requisites.
Agricultural co-opratives have another important task of providing credit to members_ for the implementation of farm management programme. Assessment of financial requirements of members is to be made as accurate as possible on the basis of the farm management programme to attain the target.