Though set up primarily to procure, process and sell fruit produce from Wadi plots, cooperatives set up in BAIF-Wadi projects are engaged in a diverse range of activities for the benefit of members.
An example is the `Amarai Adivasi Mittra Phal Prakriya va Kharedi Vikri Sahakari’ Sanstha (Amarai cooperative), set up in 2002-03 in Pimpalshet, in Jawhar taluka of Thane district. The cooperative has around 1300 shareholders, who are all Wadi plot-owners.
The main business of the cooperative is raw cashew procurement and processing. It procures 80-200MT tonnes of raw cashew produced every year in Wadi plots of members, and turns it into cashew nuts with around 22% recovery.
Processed cashew nuts are sold through the Vasundhara cooperative. In 2008-09, the cooperative earned around Rs 15 lakhs from these sales.
Another major line of business is sale of mango, cashew and guava grafts produced by around 80 members through nurseries. Number of grafts sold increased from around 30,000 in 2005-06, to over 1.15 lakhs in 2008-09.
Grafts are sold to Wadi projects and individual farmers. Income from sale of grafts in 2008-09 was nearly Rs 25 lakhs.
The cooperative also supplies teak stumps, for planting along boundaries of Wadi plots. Income from this source was around Rs 4.65 lakhs in 2008-09.
Sale of mangoes produced in members’ Wadi plots, at a pre-determined price, is another major activity. Quantity of mangoes sold by the cooperative increased from 3.2MT in 2005-07 to 13MT in 2008-09. Most of the production is sold directly to ITC, by a tie-up. (Members also sell mangoes directly in retail and wholesale markets).
Apart from these lines of business, the Amarai cooperative is engaged in many activities for the benefit of members. The cooperative
- makes and sells value-added products like mango pickles through Vasundhara
- has a rice mill and a unit for extraction of oil from mahua and khursani
- collects and markets agriculture crops produced in Wadi plots, like tur and coarse cereals
- has set up units in 5 SHGs for producing mango slices
- provides inputs to selected Wadi participants for cultivation of vegetables
- provides technical guidance for floriculture, and sells jasmine grafts
- procures and sells inputs like seeds, fertilisers and pesticides
- on a small scale, sells vegetables grown by members.
The 2008-09 sales turnover of the cooperative was a little over Rs 1 crore.