Organisational Design for Agriculture and Rural Development
Agriculture is the backbone of rural India and most of the people directly or indirectly depend on agricultural-related work. After seventy years of independence, farmers are still having a problem getting the right price for their products in the marketplace. In India, agricultural produce marketing is a major issue. Farmer organisations have to find an agricultural produce market for their sustainability. This chapter demonstrates how, through suitable organisational design, integrated activities have been successfully undertaken for the last 50–75 years in many co-operatives of small farmer communities in Gandevi Taluka of Navsari district in South Gujarat. Individual farmers can reduce their operating costs by uniting to form co-operatives. Cross-subsidising their activities minimises risk factors and fosters sustainable development. Since most farmers do not have professional business training, input costs during the initial period can be high. Cross-subsidisation helps to minimise overheads and input costs. Cash rotation within the village through different activities should be a regular process. The profit of input supply of any activity should be utilised to minimise the cost of other activities. All these activities should take place in a limited geographical area so that they are easy to operate and monitor. The volume of daily transactions for consumptive purposes in a village is indeed very high. Therefore, farmer organisations should be involved in these activities. Farmer organisations must focus on creating a strong network credit co-operative. Deposits collected from members can be used by farmer organisations to operate more effectively and transact business on more favourable terms. This chapter attempts to elaborate how sustainable organisations can be designed to empower small farmers to protect their interests while promoting rural development.