From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Not much
Mains level : Paper 3- Challenges facing Indian agriculture
Many wish for legendary “Milk Man of India” Verghese Kurien’s presence in our midst today as the conflict between the Central government and the farming community on the issue of the farm laws appears to be still unresolved.
Adopting cooperative model
- Kurien won the farmers over with his professional integrity and his vision of a central role for farmers in India’s journey of development.
- It is on that foundation that Kurien went on to design his idea of Amul as a co-operative.
- He turned it over the years into a global brand, and later launched the White Revolution that would make India the largest milk producing nation in the world.
- Central to Kurien’s vision was the co-operative model of business development.
- Kurien’s fascination for the co-operative model was also influenced by Gandhian thinking on poverty alleviation and social transformation.
- Kurien could borrow from the ideas and the practices of the corporate world.
- In areas such as innovations in marketing and management, branding and technology, the private sector excels and sets benchmarks for businesses across the world to follow and adopt.
- Innovations and evolving technologies: At the same time, Amul was steadily emerging as a laboratory, developing significant innovations and evolving technologies of its own, and these have strengthened its competitive power against multinational corporations.
Challenges facing cooperative movements in India
- Amul’s success has not been the catalyst for similar movements across other agricultural commodities in India.
- Bypassing digital revolution: India’s digital revolution has bypassed the agriculture sector.
- The cooperative movement in India is in a state of flux.
- Decline of cooperative movement: India has suffered due to lack of professional management, adequate finance and poor adoption of technology.
This is truly a moment to reflect on Verghese Kurien’s remarkable legacy and the unfinished task he has left behind.