Following Amul’s move to go cashless in its transactions with dairy farmers, the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), an apex body of dairy cooperatives, has asked all its affiliated bodies to expedite opening of bank accounts of farmers so that payment could be transferred directly to their accounts.
NDDB has urged all the 22 state federations like Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (also known as Amul), Karnataka Co-operative Milk Producers’ Federation, Rajasthan Cooperative Dairy Federation, etc, to urgently open banks accounts of those farmers who are still getting paid in cash.
Sources told FE that around 60-70% of around one crore dairy farmers who are part of dairy cooperatives’ network have bank accounts. “Since last few months, we have been encouraging the state federations to go for cashless transactions and the government’s move on demonetisation has given a boost to our efforts,” an official said.
In last couple of months, around 28 lakh new Jan Dhan bank accounts have been opened for the NDDB-affiliated dairy farmers. While acknowledging that there has been delays in payments to those dairy farmers who do not have bank accounts because of demonetisation, NDDB has urged state federations to commence transferring the payment directly into farmers’ accounts.
Besides, NDDB has stated that it is creating an open source application which would accommodate all transactions of state-level federations and district cooperative societies which is expected to help transfer money directly to farmers’ accounts.
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Recently, GCMMF, had decided to opt for cashless transactions. The move would ensure 34 lakh farmers receive money in their bank accounts.
According to GCMMF managing director RS Sodhi, at present, 60-70% of dairy farmers, affiliated to 17 district dairy unions and 8,000 village cooperative societies, have access to bank accounts where funds are transferred directly in a span of a week or fortnight for the milk procured. Since demonetisation, Amul has helped open two lakh bank accounts of dairy farmers. In the next couple of weeks, 3 lakh farmers associated with the dairy cooperative will get banks accounts.
An agriculture ministry official said while most dairy farmers want the money to transferred to their bank accounts as they bring in milk to procurement centre atleast once or twice a day. “Going cashless would save a lot of transaction cost, as every fortnight or in some case daily, money has to paid to farmers for milk procured,” the official said.