24 November, 2020

A Comfed Zone In Lalooland

In a blighted state, this cooperative stands out for two good reasons: it makes money, and gives much of it to ruralfolk

Deepak Kumar
A Comfed Zone In Lalooland
Bihar today is a synonym for all things bad. From economy to education and governance to social degradation—everything is at its nadir. Most of all, the economy. In a depressing scenario where a total of 54 state-owned corporations are helplessly swimming in an ocean of red, a lone cooperative federation is quietly spearheading the state's white revolution and actually making a tidy profit.

Comfed, or the Cooperative Milk Producers' Federation Ltd, is Bihar's only cash cow. Its "Sudha" brand milk and products are already the flavour of the state. The federation's annual turnover of Rs 300 crore accounts for almost 10 per cent of the state's gross domestic product of Rs 3,200 crore, easily outstripping any other state unit in performance. During 2000-01, Comfed clocked an operating profit of Rs 15 crore. "Today, Comfed is the only glittering star on the industrial horizon of the state," boasts its managing director, Dr Arunish Chawla.

Comfed made a modest beginning as part of Operation Flood, the government's name for the white revolution which gave us Amul. But it...


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