Competitive Strength of Amalsad's Agro-processing Function for Chikku.

Unique features of area/Society
Competitive edge of member/Society

1. Transportation of produce to the Society

Society has arrenged two collection centers, which are conveniently locatedfrom the farmers,given their locations.

Farmers make own transportation arrangement, but given the existence of two centers (which the Society can afford to have, given its scale). farmers can save on transportation cost.

2. Acceptance of farmer's produce

On first come, first served basis from the members,who stand in a single queue.

Members complete the formalities in 2-2.5 hours,whereas non-member with Private Traders , who stand in six different queues (each queue is selected at random for bidding), take sometimes much longr hours to complete the same process.

3. Sorting and grading

Since size is the only important parameter at present, 10 kg. amount of chikku is withdrawn at random from any part of the sack in which the produce is brought, to count the number. 53 different sizes have been specified for which the price varies with larger sizes being rewarded relatively more.

1. Sorting and grading is thus done by the Society in an objective and transparent manner, which avoid conflict, whereas at Private Traders bidding takes place merely on the basis of visual display of the produce.

2. Members are rewarded even for slight improvement in size.

4. Weighing

Accurate and uniform weighing system is applied publicly to all producers throughout the day.

Non-members in Private Traders often face inaccurate weights and measures, whose incidence is alleged to be varying across traders and different timings of the day, besides the farmers being asked to supply more on the plea that the weight would drop on ripening. The Society on the other hand follows a norm that actual weight must not exceed 1% level of the stipulated quantity transacted on any particular day, and benefits of this excess weight, if any, flows back to the farmers in the form of bonus at the end of the year.

Competitive Strength of Amalsad's Marketing Function for Chikku.
Unique Features of area/Society Competitive edge of member/Socity
1. Final grading into three to four sizes (generally extra large, large and mixed, as demanded by the market), weighing, packing and loading into trucks for dispatch to markets
1.Given its large scale of operation, Society has installed a mechanical system to undertake these functions, which has so far not been possible by private traders.
1 .Achives tremendous time-saving for the Society, so much so that the first truck gets ready for departure to Delhi market by 9.30 to 10 am, enabling arrival at Delhi well before the third morning for dispatch to other distant markets.
2. Achives homogeneity of size of the fruit inside cartons (now a days they have three sizes-extra large, large and mixed) and net weight of the container (namely, 10 kg), so that the Society is able to have its own brand name.
3. Saving is mostly in terms of time, Cost of this mechanical operation is 20 paise per 20 kg.
2. Packaging and Loading

1.Introduced corrugated boxes, which are much lighter and cheaper than wooden boxes used earlier. Also Installed a machine for testing quality of pakaging box.

1. Private traders have followed suit,but still the Society enjoys advantage of scale in placing much larger orders for such boxes through its Federation.
3.Transaction to the main market in Delhi through trucks
1. Society deals with the truck companies through its Federation, which has greater advatage of scale.
1. Since each private trader is handling much smaller quantities, they don't enjoy all these advantages. Due to competitive contracts and scale effect, society's truck transportation cost has recently gone down in spilte of hike in diesel price.
2. Federation has entered contracts with two truck companies to introduce competitive pressure.
3.Society uses incentive-disincentive system for truck drivers to encourage early arrival of trucks in Delhi market.
4.Transportation to the main market in Delhi through rail
1. Introduction of rail transport at the initiative of Amalsad Society, which by virtue of its size, has become the allocator of quota to other Societies and private traders.
1. Further savings in terms of cost, time and quaility transportation
(the latter reducing wastage and quick ripening), which are shared with other chikku traders, but Amalsad Society has the size advantage and also acquired the skill in handling Indian Railways to become the team leader. So, it enjoys greater autonomy and flexibility as compared to others.
5. Choice of markets
1.Although earlier attemted other markets like Jaipur, Delhi found to be more stable than others and hence being used as the main market (as much as 97% of the produce sold there), wherefrom the material is dispatched to important nearby cities. Mixed grades are generally sold inside Gujarat.
1. Society price has less variability as compared to Private Traders Price is better than Private Traders price for average quality chikku.
6. Choice of trader in Delhi market
1. One exclusive Delhi trader has been selected because of his large size of operation, prompt dealings (backed by computerized system of accounts) and transparency to both Amalsad and down-stream buyers of chikku. Annual conract with this trader continuing for more than 30 years.

7. Payment

1. Member are instantly paid 86% of the estimated price (after deduction for relevant loan repayments), while the rest is paid at the end of the season after deduction of Socirty's charges from the actual price.

1.Non-member farmers selling through Private Traders are supposed to be paid instanly, but it hardly happens in reality. Trader-farmer relation plays a very important role in pricing and payment decision. Based on Delhi price, Society on the other hand announces daily price for public display after deduction of the necessary expenses in a transparent manner, which given much more credibility to the Society-announced price as compared to the same by a private trader.
2. Traders at Private Traders charge Fix Amount (Normally 8% by apmc) of the value as commission, whereas Society charges only 3%.