Gumla Raidih Agri Producer Company Limited (GRAPCL) was incorporated in January 2019, in the Gumla district of Jharkhand. The FPC was promoted by Jharkhand State Livelihood Promotional Society (JSLPS), under JOHAR Project funded by the World Bank. The FPC has presence in three blocks – Sadar, Raidih and Senha. The FPC has a member base of more than 4,000 women, associated with their respective Producer Groups (PGs) formed based on activities conducted in the respective villages. The activities where the FPC is involved are High-Value Agriculture (HVA) crop production & marketing, fishery, livestock farming and Non-Timber Forest Produce (NTFP). The FPC is considered as one of the most strategic FPCs due to its diverse activities and livelihood portfolio. Nearly, 4,500 families are dependent on the FPC for their daily livelihood.
In FY 2019-20, the FPC had a good start with a turnover of Rs.74.6 Lakhs and had plans of deepening their engagement with the collectives. All the FPC staff along with the Board of Directors were excited to share the FPC performance with the shareholders and other stakeholders. It was their first AGM. However, they were not aware of the procedure to conduct an AGM for an FPC.
Conducting proper AGM is an important compliance. However, the GRAPCL had it as a complete miss in terms of compliance. The same phenomenon was also observed in other FPCs enrolled in the JOHAR project. Being a community-based organization, AGM becomes a communication activity for the community as well as the shareholders to understand and anticipate the aspirations of the FPC. Moreover, the biggest challenge turned up was the COVID-19 pandemic that abruptly restricted the mobility and operations of the FPC.
The FPC had little technical knowledge on conducting an AGM and the impact of non-compliance. It was a similar story at other FPCs. Hence, it was important to help the FPC devise a mechanism to comply with the norms of conducting the AGM, spread awareness regarding the business impact of the meeting, and cultivate a habit of experimenting with the technology.
Ananya being a technical partner had a strategic role to play in the situation. The team adopted the DTI strategy initially developed for SAFPCL (refer to the case study of Saving Two Birds with One Nest) with an additional module on technology. Read our approach for the challenges faces GRAPCL here: Case Study
ABOUT JOHAR PROJECT
JOHAR (Jharkhand Opportunities for Harnessing Rural Growth) is a project implemented in 68 blocks across 17 districts of Jharkhand, India. The development objective of the project is to enhance and diversify household income in select farm and non‐farm sectors for targeted beneficiaries in rural areas. Ananya is engaged as one of the Technical Support Agencies for enhancing creditworthiness of the Producer Groups (PGs) and Producer Companies (PCs) by way of imparting trainings, streamlining book keeping, helping adherence to regulatory compliance & supporting financial reporting & analysis.
The case study is authored by Avi Jain, Nagendra Rajawat and Neeraj Kumar.