People of rural India face lot of hardships to have a day’s square meal. Majority of them are occupied in agriculture, animal husbandry, and other ancillary activities. Income of agriculture activity has been as erratic as monsoon. Hence, rural people were forced to think of generating additional revenue. Majority of them chose rearing of milking cattle and selling its milk as a source for the second income. The research was undertaken in Chikkaballapur district of Karnataka state to know the extent of women participation in the activities at Milk Producers Co-operative Societies (MPCS). Sixty women members at MPCS were interviewed for the purpose with the pre tested interview schedule. Majority of the respondents were of young age (56%), living in a nuclear family (90%) with the family size between 2-4 members and possessed medium land holding (34%). Their family members working in farm instead as labourers and was possessing agriculture as their main occupation (48%). Majority of the respondents belonged to low income category (76%), with male as family decision makers (74%) and were seeking information through informal sources (56%). Result revealed that majority of the respondents (96.67%) participated in animal health camp, 60% of them participated in vaccination, 85 per cent in supplying of fodder seeds, 88.33 per cent in supplying fodder roots, 81.67 per cent in supplying mineral mixture, 66.67 Straw treatment demonstration, 71.67 per cent of the respondents participated in training conducted by MPCS, with regard to total quality management their participation was in the order of unloading (93.33%), weighing (68.33%), testing in quality control laboratory (63.33%), grading (58.33%), and sampling (55%), in case of milk testing activities, 96.67 per cent of respondents participated in lactometer test, 63.33 per cent respondents participated in book keeping, cash distribution (65.00%), record maintenance (51.67%) and banking / financial activity (46.67%) and Only 33.33 per cent of the respondents actively participated in the group meeting and group activities of MPCS. Due to medium participation level of women in MPCS activities educating them can help encourage them to become more involved and committed to the cooperatives as well as help to increase the level of participation of women in MPCS activities.
A Cooperative is an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly owned and democratically controlled enterprise (ICA, 1995). Dairying has a prominent role in strengthening in deals rural economy in India. India produces only five percent of the total quantity of milk produced this amount is too inadequate to meet the country’s demand. As a result, many dairy cooperatives have been formed to meet local demand and to develop dairy industry. Dairying has the potential to act as an instrument to bring about socio-economic transformation. Dairy development in India has been an effective and important instrument of rural development as it generates self employment opportunities, increases the income of fanners, besides, providing the much needed nutrition to the people (Nirmala, 2014). A considerable effort has been made by the government to increase the milk production through launching of Operation Flood Programme during 1970. This programme recognizes that dairying at the household level is largely the domain of women. They are the prime decision makers in dairy activities such as production of milk, care of pregnant animals and calves, feeding the fodder and concentrations to animals (Singh et al., 2001). Women compose not only around 70 per cent of the poor, they also make up the majority of poor livestock keepers. It is estimated that 600 million poor livestock keepers in the world, around two-thirds are women and most live in rural areas (FAO, 2011 and Thornton et al., 2002). Women play significant and crucial role in agricultural development and allied fields like dairy farming, mushroom production, pisciculture etc. These rural women, besides doing hard household chores, also undertake the taxing job of cattle rearing (Murali, 2013).
The milk producers co-operative societies are established in the country with the purpose of developing an efficient milk procurement system for members in a specified milk shed area, establishing facilities for pasteurizing liquid milk and producing milk products to meet growing demand in urban centers, and providing technical inputs, such as cattle feed, artificial insemination, animal health care services, and fodder development to its members so that milk yield can be increased (Nirmala, 2014). In some states the Ministry of HRD provides financing for co-operative milk producers unions which implement the Supporting to Training and Employment Programme (STEP). Under this programme, Dairy Co-operatives are formed with membership as well as management entering composed of women milk producers. In this context, it is worthwhile to study the extent of participation of women members in the activities of Milk Producers Co-Operative Societies. In this backdrop, the present study is undertaken to know the extent of participation of women members in MPCS activities.
Material and Method
The research was undertaken in Chikkaballapur district of Karnataka state to know the extent of women participation in the activities at Milk Producers Co-operative Societies (MPCS). Chikkaballapur was purposively selected for the study as it is the one of the best milk producing district of Karnataka. Ex-post facto research design was adopted in this research and random sampling method was used to select the respondents. A total of 60 women respondents belonging to Chikkaballapur district were selected and the primary data was collected using a structured interview schedule to assess the women participation in the activities at Milk Producers Co-operative Societies (MPCS). Secondary data were obtained from existing literature. The statistical tools used for data analysis were simple frequency and percentage.
Results and Discussion
Table 1 revealed that 53.33 % of respondents belongs to 20->40years age (young age), 26.67 per cent were within the age group of 31-40 years (middle age) while 20 per cent were of old age (41 years and above).
Table 1: Socio-economic characteristics
|S. No.||Socio-economic characteristics||Category||Respondents, N=60|
|1||Age group||1) Young(20->40years)||32||53.33|
|2||Family type||1) joint||7||11.67|
|4||Main occupation||1) Agriculture||28||46.67|
|2) Animal husbandry||7||11.67|
|6||Decision making head in family||1) Male||44||73.33|
|7||Information seeking behaviour||1) Informal||36||60|
It revealed that majority of the respondents belonged to young age group followed by middle age group and 88.33 per cent of the respondents were living in nuclear family and 11.67 per cent in joint family.
It was observed from Table 1 that 36.67 per cent of the respondents were medium (2.5-5acres) land holders, 26.67 per cent were small (< 2.5acres), 23.33 per cent were landless and 13.33 per cent were large (>5acres). Among respondents 46.67 per cent of the respondents main occupation was agriculture followed by business (26.67%), both agriculture and animal husbandry (15%) and only animal husbandry (11.67%) and 78.33 per cent of the respondents income was low, followed by medium (18.33%) and high (3.33%).
Finding from the study revealed that majority of the households, male were the decision makers (73.33.00%), followed by participation of all the family members in decision making process (11.67%), female (8.33%) and children (6.67%) decision makers and 60 per cent of the respondents seeked information through informal sources where as 40 per cent acquired information through formal sources.
Participation of Women in Milk Production Cooperative System Activities
Table 2 revealed that majority of the respondents (96.67%) participated in animal health camp, followed by 60% of them participated in vaccination to vaccinated the animals in advance. With respect to the artificial insemination only 41.67 per cent of them participated. The possible reason is due to lack of adequate knowledge of women members on the time of insemination. The member’s participation was 85 per cent in supplying of fodder seeds followed by 88.33 per cent in supplying fodder roots, 81.67 per cent in supplying mineral mixture and 66.67 straw treatment demonstration. The fodder requirement to their cattle for increasing milk production might be a reason for a majority of the women mernbers participating in the above activities. About, 71.67 per cent of the respondents participated in training conducted by MPCS. It is quite obvious that majority of women members participated in MPCS training to obtain information on scientific dairying practices. With regard to total quality management their participation was in the order of unloading (93.33%), weighing (68.33%), testing in quality control laboratory (63.33%), grading (58.33%), and sampling (55%). In order to acquire knowledge on animal nutrition, education, legal matter and quality management aspects most of the women members had participated.
In case of milk testing activities, 96.67 per cent of respondents participated in lactometer test followed by 33.33 per cent in clot on boiling test, 25 per cent of them participated in organoleptic test and only five per cent of them participated in alcohol test. The possible reason may be best educational efforts of the MPCS to find out adulteration in milk. Further, lactometer was only available in all MPCS and organoleptic, clot on boiling and alcohol tests need to be conducted only in district places when milk was contaminated and disinfected.
Table 2: Participation of women in milk production cooperative system activities
|S. No.||Activities||Respondents N=60|
|1||Animal health camp||58||96.67|
|5||Supplying fodder roots||53||88.33|
|6||Supplying mineral mixture||49||81.67|
|7||Straw treatment demonstration||40||66.67|
|8||Trainings conducted by MPCS||43||71.67|
|10||Milk Testing||Lactometer test||58||96.67|
|Clot on boiling test||20||33.33|
|14||Participation in all meeting related to MPCS||20||33.33|
More than half of the respondents participated in book keeping (63.33%), cash distribution (65.00%), record maintenance (51.67%) and banking / financial activity (46.67%). This might be due to as mandatory on the part of the producers members to keep the record on cash distribution, book keeping, record maintenance of MPCS activities and banking/ financial activity. Further, women members should produce all the records and documents during the inspection of Government officials due to this reason majority of the women members had participated in the above mentioned activities. Only 33.33 per cent of the respondents actively participated in the group meeting and group activities of MPCS. Lack of sufficient time has resulted in low level of participation of women members in group meeting and activities.
We all know that the development of the dairy industry and the development of nations depend greatly on that half of the population, often referred to as the weaker sex that in all too many parts of the world continues to be ignored in most crucial decision making. Due to medium participation level of women in MPCS activities educating them can help encourage them to become more involved and committed to the cooperatives as well as help to increase the level of participation of women in MPCS activities. Hence more training should be given to stimulate interests and commitment of members. In order to improve the performance of the cooperatives, there is need to recruit qualified staff. Thus cooperatives need to be helped to recruit qualified staff and train them to manage cooperative business. This would help to minimize on the losses and improve cooperative efficiency.