They were In general Illiterate. But they could see that the system under which contractors could buy their produce at a low price and arrange to sell it at huge profits was just not fair. This became more noticeable when the Government of Bombay started the Bombay Milk Scheme In 1945. Milk had to be transported 427 kilometers, from And to Bombay. This could be done only If milk was pastured In And. I After preliminary trials, the Government of Bombay entered into an agreement with Pollens Limited to supply milk from And to Bombay on a regular basis.
The arrangement was highly satisfactory to all concerned – except the farmers. The Government found it profitable; Pollens kept a good margin. Milk contractors took the biggest cut. No one had taken the trouble to fix the price of milk to be paid to the producers. Thus under the Bombay Milk Scheme the farmers of Koala District were no better off ever before. They were still at the mercy of milk contractors. They had to sell their milk at a price the contractors fixed. The discontent of the farmers grew. They went in deputation to Cards Patella, who had advocated farmers’ co-operatives as early as 1942. I I Cards Patella reiterated his advice that they should market heir milk through a co-operative society of their own. This co-operative should have its own bastardization plant. His advice was that the farmers should demand permission to set up such a co-operative. If their demand was rejected, they should refuse to sell their milk to middlemen. I Cards Patella pointed out that in undertaking such a strike there should be some losses to the farmers as they would not be able to sell their milk for some time. If they were prepared to put up with the loss, he was prepared to lead them.
The farmers’ deputation readily accepted his proposal. I I 1 OFF I Cards then sent his trusted deputy, Mr.. Memorabilia Ideas, to Karri District to organize milk co-operative – and a milk strike if necessary. Mr.. Ideas held a meeting in Samara village on January 4, 1946. It was resolved that milk producers’ co- operative societies should be organized in each village of Karri District to collect milk from their member-farmers. All the milk societies would federate into a Union which would own milk processing facilities. The Government should undertake to buy milk from the Union.
If this wasn’t done, the farmers would refuse to sell milk to any milk annotator in Karri District. The Government turned down the demand. The farmers called a ‘milk strike’. It lasted 15 days. Not a drop of milk was sold to the milk merchants. No milk reached Bombay from And, and the Bombay Milk Scheme almost collapsed. After 1 5 days the milk commissioner of Bombay, an Englishman, and his deputy visited And, assessed the situation and accepted the farmers’ demand. I I This marked the beginning of the Karri District Co-operative Milk Producers’ Union Limited, And.
It was formally registered on December 14, 1946. Its objective as to provide proper marketing facilities for the milk producers of the district. The Union began bespattering milk in June 1948, for the Bombay Milk Scheme – Just a handful of farmers in two village co-operative societies producing about 250 liters a day. I I An assured market proved a great incentive to the milk producers in the district. By the end of 1948, 432 farmers had Joined village societies, and the quantity of milk handled by the Union had increased to 5000 liters a day.
In the early stages, rapid growth brought in its wake serious problems. Their solution revived the stimulus for further growth. For example, as the co-operative movement spread in the district, it was found that the Bombay Milk Scheme could not absorb the extra milk collected by the Union in winter, when buffaloes yielded an average of 2. 5 times their summer yield. Thus by 1953, the farmer-members had no regular market for the extra milk produced in winter. They were again forced to sell a large surplus at low rate to middlemen.
I The only remedy was to set up a plant to process the extra milk into products like butter and milk powder. The logic of this step was readily accepted by the Government of Bombay and the Government of India, except for a few doubting Thomas. The government of India helped the Union to get financial help from EUNICE and assistance from the Government of New Zealand under the Colombo Plan. Technical aid was provided by F. A. O. A RSI. 50 – lack factory to process milk powder and butter was blueprinted. Its foundation stone was laid by the then President of India the late Dry.
Regenerated Parkas on November 15, 1954. The project the then Prime Minister of India, declared it open. The new dairy provided a further fillip to the co-operative movement among milk producers. The union was thus enabled to organize more village co-operative societies and to handle more and more milk each year. This event also brought a breakthrough in dairy technology as the products were made processing buffalo milk for the first time in the world. Karri Union introduced the brand “Maul” for marketing its product range. The word “Maul” is derived from Sanskrit word ‘Malay’ which means ‘priceless’ or precious’.
In the subsequent years Maul made cheese and baby food on a large commercial scale again processing buffalo milk creating a history in the world. I 964 was the turning point in the history of dairy development programmer in India. Late Sari Ala Buddha Shatter, the then Prime Minister of India who visited And on ass October for inauguration of Mall’s Cattle Feed Plant, having spent a night with farmers of Karri and experiencing the success wished and expressed to Mr. Current, then the General Manager of Maul that replicating Maul model through out our country will bring a great change in the socio-economic conditions of the people.
In order to bring this dream into reality, 1965 The National Dairy Development Board ENDS) was established at And and by 1969-70 ENDS came out with the dairy development programmer for India popularly known as “Operation Flood” or “White Revolution”. The Operation Flood programmer, even today, stands to be the largest dairy development programmer ever drawn in the world.