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Wednesday, Jun 29, 2005

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Kurien makes a case for co-operatives

Sindhu J. Bhattacharya

New Delhi, June 28

REFERRING to the unique model of co-operative development, called Amul Pattern, as the spearhead of the co-operative movement in the country, Dr Kurien said a "painful paradox" exists today.

Without taking names, he said, "A painful paradox stares at us today in the form of the very organisation set up by an Act of Parliament, with a mandate to replicate the Amul Pattern, doing everything in its power to subvert it - and thereby converting its institutions into public sector undertakings."

Dr Kurien said a number of avoidable controversies and confusions have been kicked up in this regard. "So, I must make a small point of clarification: it is my firm and unshakable belief that the entire Amul Pattern dairy value chain, from procurement through marketing - along with the associated brand - is the sole and exclusive domain of the farmer. And the moment the farmer loses or dilutes her right over it, being a small producer of perishable commodity, she becomes nothing better than a contract labourer."

Dr Kurien said a great opportunity lies in letting farmers own and operate their own co-operatives.

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