After Amul’s move to go cashless in its transactions with dairy farmers, the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) — the apex body of dairy cooperatives — has asked all its affiliated bodies to expedite opening of bank accounts of farmers so that payments could be transferred directly to their accounts.
In a recent communication, NDDB has urged all the 22 state federations like Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (also known as Amul) to urgently open bank accounts of those farmers who are still getting their payment for selling milk by cash.
Sources told FE that around 60-70% of around one crore dairy farmers who are part of dairy cooperatives have bank accounts. “Since the last few months, we have been informing the state federations to go for cashless transactions,” an official said.
In the last few months, around 28 lakh new Jan Dhan bank accounts have been opened for dairy farmers. While acknowledging that there have been delays in payments to those dairy farmers who do not have bank accounts because of the demonetisation move, NDDB has urged state federations to commence transferring the payment for milk procured directly into farmers’ accounts.
Besides, NDDB has stated that its 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.
The country’s biggest dairy federation, Amul, recently decided to opt for cashless transactions. The move would ensure 33 lakh farmers receive money in their bank accounts for milk procured from them.
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 within span of a week or fortnight for the milk procured.
An agriculture ministry official said most dairy farmers want money to be transferred to their bank accounts as they bring in milk to procurement centres at least once or twice a day. “Going cashless would save a lot of transactions cost, as every fortnight or in some case daily, money has to paid to farmers for milk procured,” the official said.
Karnataka Milk Federation and Maharashtra State Milk Producers Association have also decided to help dairy farmers open bank accounts so that all the transanctions can be cashless.