It was two decades ago that India surpassed the US to become the world’s largest milk producer. India’s success story is largely owed to the dairy cooperative societies (DCS) that started out in the late 1940s. Some dairy cooperatives, now over six to seven decades old, have become social entities in their own right, forging strong community ties.
Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA) recently carried out a study to investigate if dairy relation ties among the members of dairy co-operatives societies overlap with their social relation ties. In the event of nil overlaps, the extent of their similarities or, conversely, disparities, was explored.
For the purposes of the study, network data obtained from a five-decade-old DCS located in Anand district of Gujarat was analysed by studying the information sharing in its dairy and social networks.
The findings of the study show that even though the two networks do not appear very different in terms of size, they are structurally very different. The Dairy Information Network appears inclusive while Social Information Network appears fragmented. The results also indicate that the ability of the DCS to maintain separate networks keeps it away from societal conflicts and complexities. Hence, the DCS has been able to sustain its operations for decades with a great turnover of milk collection and sale.
The study titled “Information Sharing Ties in Dairy Cooperative Societies” was conducted by IRMA through its Verghese Kurien Centre of Excellence (VKCoE), with Prof Shyam Singh and Ms.Neha Christie as the Principal Researchers.
The research on social networks of Dairy Cooperative Societies by VKCoE has the potential to add immense value to policy reforms for Doubling Farmers’ Income, especially from the standpoint of promoting producers’ alliances.
The Verghese Kurien Centre for Excellence (VKCoE) has been set up at IRMA with support from the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF). The Centre’s mandate is to work on emerging models of collectives and contemporary challenges of the dairy industry through research, consultancy, extension, outreach and policy analysis. To learn more about the centre’s work, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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