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Pachamalai tribes has made an impressive start by making a profit

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Their company records a turnover of ₹40 lakh in 2017-18 and nets a profit of ₹2.85 lakh

The Pachamalai Organic Farmers Producers Company, which was floated by a group of tribes, has made an impressive start by making a profit within a year of its inception.

With the aim of ensuring sustainable livelihood, a group of tribes living in Thenpura Nadu and Aththi Nadu floated the company in 2016 under the guidance of National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD). It did not receive the expected support from members of the tribes initially. But the numbers grew gradually.

The number of members, which was 512 in 2016, has gone up to 1,390. Of them, 525 have contributed ₹1,000 each. Subsequently, the share capital too has increased to ₹5.25 lakh.

As per the requirement of the Company’s Act, the company is being run by 10 directors nominated by the members. The Board of Directors take policy decisions and it has appointed a chief executive Officer for day-to-day operations. Although the tribes were not familiar with the nuances of running a company, they are slowly and steadily beginning to get a grip over them.

They initially procured organically grown mangoes from the members and marketed them. They then handled a few more items including cashew.

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No middlemen

Instead of depending upon middlemen, the staff members of the company directly approached the markets in Namakkal and Tiruchi to market the commodities.

Castor became the focus of their business in 2017-18. The company procured 26 tonnes of castor from its members and marketed them in Namakkal. It recorded a turnover of ₹40 lakh in 2017-18. The balance sheet of the company has recorded a profit of ₹2.85 lakh in 2017-18.

“It is a good start. It is heartening to note that we have even made a break and earned profit in our first year of operation itself,” said A. Chockkanathan, chief executive officer of the company.

He added that most of the members avoided marketing their produce through third persons or middlemen. The members had begun to realise that they owned a company.

Murugesan of Hand in Hand, a non-governmental organisation implementing the Integrated Tribal Development Programme, which offered moral and technical support to the members in raising organic products and marketing, said procuring and marketing of cashew, tapioca, castor, pepper, tamarind and mango would be part of the business agenda during the current year. It had been planned to double the business and profit of the company in 2018-19.

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