Successful Models For Development

The processes of growth are continuous and progressive, basing future achievements on the foundations of the past and the activities of the present. Society grows by extension, imitation, and multiplication of what is. This fundamental principle of growth can also be formulated as a basic strategy for planned development. Successful models, systems, patterns and programmes in each sector should be extended to a wider geographical area, and adapted to other sectors. The Planning Commission itself is an example of a borrowed model -- in this case from USSR -- adapted to indigenous conditions.

In agriculture one such model is the Anand Dairy Corporation. The most successful unit of production in India today is still the family. It is a common experience that efforts at wider cooperation lack coordination and often fail. If at all they do succeed, it is usually in a very limited area. Organizations which depend on other organizations are also frequent casualties; such as the Banana Export Corporation which failed simply because it could not arrange for refrigerated ships to carry its produce to waiting, markets overseas.

The Anand model is based on milk production in the tiny sector by individual family units. It incorporates the entire cycle of production, processing and marketing within a single organization. Founding itself on the natural organization of Indian village life, this model has delivered extraordinary results comparable with those achieved in the West by huge modern dairies. It has all the elements required to make life at the grass-roots level prosperous.

Under the Anand scheme individual cow owners sell their milk to the cooperative for distribution or processing into non-perishable products like milk powder, butter, cheese or baby food. The cooperative provides veterinary services to its members, and markets its products nationwide.

The idea of extending the Anand pattern was taken up fifteen years ago with the formation of the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), the Indian Dairy Corporation (IDC) and Operation Flood which is now in its second phase. Since then more than 18 dairy unions on the Anand model have been established. There is still ample scope for extension of the scheme to provide for such organizations in every district of the country.

But a far greater potential lies in the extension of this model to other industries such as fishing, honey, flowers, essential oils, vegetables, basket and mat weaving and other handicrafts.

For example, a very large proportion of the citrus fruit sold in Europe comes from the tiny state of Israel, which produces in small units throughout the country, then pools the produce for bulk export and marketing by a state-owned corporation. Similarly there are countries which export large quantities of flowers daily. India too, could enter into this lucrative export trade, if a suitable corporate structure is established to coordinate production and marketing.

Five years ago a representative of the European Economic Community offered to purchase 10 million tons of soybean from India over a ten year period. The potential could not be availed of at the time; but it could be in future, if a Soyabean Development Corporation is established to develop soybean cultivation on a wider scale, to guarantee offtake of what is produced, and to market it or process it further.

The Indo-German Nilgiris project for vegetable cultivation is another very good model which closely follows the Anand pattern, but with one exception. Here too, the principle of small scale production combined with large scale marketing is successful, to such an extent that fresh vegetables are being daily transported from the Nilgiris Hills to Bombay, where they have earned a name for quality. The further innovation here is the introduction of foreign technical collaboration in the form of agricultural expertise for raising of quality crops and marketing expertise for distribution.

The Nilgiris pattern can be extended geographically to other areas and productwise to other crops. In each state, one district can be adopted for such a project. In each district, one taluq can be selected for special intensive attention. In each taluq, one village can be chosen for concentrated demonstration.

The Nilgiris pattern of development can be made the model for similar projects with other foreign collaborators in fields where that country has the greatest expertise and highest achievement levels.

For example, it is well known that Netherlands leads the world in the field of dairy development. When a Netherlands aid team visited Tamil Nadu recently to identify fruitful areas for collaboration, members from both countries were at a loss for the right idea until one Indian commented on the remarkable Dutch achievement in dairy farming.

Despite the efforts of the NDDB and IDC, dairy products are the one essential consumer item in which per capita private consumption has actually gone down since Independence from 156 grammes in 1940 to 122 grammes in 1980. It is not scientific know-how or the right model that is lacking, but the dynamism and pioneering spirit for which the West is famed.

The white revolution for milk production could be virtually completed in India on the basis of a well-coordinated strategy backed by the dynamism and experience of the Dutch and other foreign supporting personnel. A graded scheme can be introduced based on 1000 animal model dairies at the district headquarters with facilities like pasteurising, butter-making, skimming, chilling and possibly milk powder, cheese and chocolate manufacture. In each taluq headquarters, smaller dairies of 100 cows each can be established with veterinary facilities. In each rural town, dairies of 25 to 50 animals can be located. This can be coupled with financial schemes to encourage individual farmers to purchase from 1 to 5 high yielding heifers. These model dairy farms can be manned by technically competent foreign and Indian nationals with district-wide marketing under a single organization.

The real key to success of such a program is guaranteed availability of fodder grass to support an expanded animal population. Apart from being a support to successful dairy projects, grass is by itself a good earner for the farmer. The new hybrid varieties can yield more than Rs.5000 per acre when irrigated, giving a major boost to agricultural prosperity.

Such large scale programmes are ambitious, but not unprecedented. Yugoslavia is a pace-setter for developing countries. In 1974 a huge state farm in Croatia signed an investment sharing agreement with American Corn Production System Corporation of USA for cultivation of corn based on the most modern technology over an area of 4 lakh acres. The Yugoslav partner contributed the land and machinery, and the US company the finances and technology. This collaboration is aimed at tripling the average corn yields in Yugoslavia and helped account for a 17% increase in total production during the very first year.