Kaup Women Farmers’ Produce Company – The First of its Kind in India Inaugurated


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By Dr. Eugene DSouza
Bellevision Media Network

Udupi/Kaup/Shirva, 26 Sep 2022: The Kaup Farmers’ Produce Company (Ltd.) managed entirely by women creating history in the ‘Women Empowerment’ movement was inaugurated in a well-attended function in the Saude Sabha Bhavan, Shirva-Manchakal on Monday, 26 September 2022 at 3pm. The inaugural function was presided over by Lalaji R. Mendon-MLA of Kaup Constituency. Other dignitaries on the dais included: Dr. A.P. Achar-Chief Executive Officer of Atal Incubation Centre, Nitte, Kempegowda H.-Joint Director, Agricultural Department, Udupi District, Mrs. Bhuvaneshwari- Deputy Director of Horticulture Department, Udpi District, Mohan Raj- Assistant Director of Agriculture-Kaup Taluk, Ratan Shetty-President of Shirva Grama Panchayat, Fr. Reginald Pinto-Director of SAMPADA Udupi, Mrs. Lily D’Souza-President of Kaup Farmers Produce Company, Shirva, Ms. Peralvita Mathias-Chief Executive Officer of Kaup Farmers Produce Company and nine Directors. 

 

The programme commenced with the prayer song sung by the members from Shankerpura followed by the welcome address by Ms. Pearlvita Mathias during which the chief guests and guests of honour were welcomed by offering them bunches of Jasmine flowers.

 

 

In his introductory remarks, Fr. Reginald Pinto narrated the journey of the women in forming the Kaup Farmers’ Produce Company. He said that SAMPADA, Udupi has been working hard in the direction of ‘Empowering Women’ throughout the Udupi District since the last 9 years.  When he visited the women of the Kaup Taluka five years ago, they narrated their problems related to the cultivation of jasmine flowers. At that time, Fr. Reginald came in contact with Sanjiv Nayak an officer in the District Agricultural Department with whom he discussed the issue of the jasmine cultivators. Under his guidance, Sampada organized awareness programmes for jasmine cultivators at 8 places from 6 August to 21 August 2018 in which around 316 men and women cultivators participated. However, Covid-19 lockdown created problems for jasmine cultivators as in other fields.

 

On 29 July 2021, officials from Nitte Atal Incubation Centre under the leadership of Dr. A.P. Achar met Fr. Reginald Pinto and convinced him to organize the farmers in the Kaup Taluk and initiate a Farmers’ Produce Company for which the center would provide all expertise and support. With this assurance, Fr. Reginald Pinto met women leaders and prepared the ground for starting an all women farmers produce company. On 5 August 2021 a meeting of 38 women was organized at Bantakal and started the membership drive which gradually spread to women self-help groups within the Kaup Taluka.

 

According to the rules and regulations of the Raita Utpadaka Company, first the farmers have to be made aware of the need for such a company. Thereafter, the farmers have to accept the membership and pay the fees. The group of 20 farmers had to be formed  from whom two members have to be chosen. This process went on smoothly and the farmer representatives  attended training sessions at the Udupi District Horticulture Department, Doddannagudde, Udupi and Padubidri.

 

As the organizational work proceeded systematically, within one month of the meeting with the officials of Nitte, on 26 August 2021,  52 leaders from 26 farmer groups held a meeting at Shirva. The meeting was presided over by Kempegowda H-Joint Director in the Agricultural Department. Dr. A.P. Achar of Nitte Centre led the meeting. In this meeting 10 Directors were selected and Mrs. Lily D’Souza was elected as the President of the Kaup Farmers’ Produce Company (Kaup Raita Utpadaka Company). Thereafter, under the direction of Dr. A.P. Achar, Nitte Atal Incubation Centre officials helped in the formalities of registration etc. Thus, the journey that had started nearly 13 months ago created history by the inauguration of Kaup Raita Utpadaka Company with over 1000 members on Monday, 26 September 2022 within a record short period of time.

 

 

The Kaup Farmers’ Produce Company was formally inaugurated by Dr. A.P. Achar and the dignitaries on the dais by pouring water in the pot with jasmine saplings.

 

In his message, Dr. A.P. Achar said that in the year of the ‘Amrut Mahotsav’ of Indian Independence, the central Government had directed to open 10 Farmers Produce Companies. However, the Kaup Raita Utpadaka Company entirely run by the women is the first one in the country that was set up within a short period of time.

 

Ratan Shetty expressed happiness at the large number of women participating in the inaugural programme and the annual general body meeting.

 

Kempegowda H in his speech said that the Kaup Farmers Produce Company is the outcome of the enthusiasm and dedication of the women and the initiative and leadership provided by Fr. Reginald Pinto.

 

After presenting the cheque of Rs.15 Lakhs as equity fund from the government to the office-bearers of the Kaup Farmers’ Produce Company, MLA Lalaji R. Mendon in his address said that he was pleased to see the ‘houseful’ capacity of women members as the Saude Sabha Bhavan was full of the women members. He further said that women have been fulfilling their role in the family and society as responsible members and the Kaup Farmers’ Produce Company entirely managed by women themselves is the proof of the ‘empowerment of women’ and wished them well.

 

 

Mrs. Bhuvaneshwari in her message pointed out how she was behind the idea of organizing a all women farmers’ produce company. She encouraged women to expand the cultivation of jasmine in wider areas and assured that she would be always ready to help them in getting kind of assistance from government schemes.

 

Mohan Raj also complemented the women for organizing themselves in the Kaup Raita Utpadaka Company and assured that he would help them in securing good quality seeds, manure and mechanical deices needed to improve their agricultural and horticultural output.

 

Share certificates were distributed to ten shareholding women by Kempegowda and Mrs. Bhuvaneshwari.

 

Mrs. Lily D’Souza proposed the vote of thanks and Stanley Ferndes-Programme Coordinator of Sampada compered the programme.

 

The General Body Meeting of the newly inaugurated Kaup Famers’ Produce Company was conducted soon after the formal inaugural programme was over.  




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