COMPENDIUM, IEEC-2023   ( ISBN : 978-81-967860-4-5 )
Theme 1: Emerging experiences on CBOs’ intervention and Sustainable Agri-food Systems

Role of SHGs in Resource Management vis-à-vis Sustainability of Kerala’s Dairy Sector

Shyam Suraj S.R.

College of Dairy Science and Technology, Kaimanam, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala


Milk production of Kerala is dwindling since last 7 years with its cost of production increasing at a distressing rate. The greener part of the dairy ecosystem of the state is the network of primary dairy cooperatives. But their interventions in strengthening the dairy farmers and creating sustainability are restricted. The dairy farming system in Kerala is predominantly a small holder enterprise characterized by nominal resources of land, capital, feed, fodder, and family labor; affecting the sustainability of dairy farming in the long run with lower productive and allocative efficiency. Only if the dairy farmers can maximize the output from the optimization of inputs at their market price; scaling up is possible and hence increase the milk production. Here comes the role of community-based organizations like Self Help Groups (SHGs) which can be formed under dairy cooperatives which shall be a good model for using the limited resources jointly for sustainable milk production; similar to ‘Kudumbashree’ SHG model; a grand success in Kerala. The Joint Liability Groups - JLGs (a form of SHG promoted by NABARD) started by various agencies of Wayanad district of Kerala assisted the dairy farmers for access to credit facilities for purchase of cattle without collateral security; and they were monitored by the dairy cooperatives. The efforts resulted in surplus milk production in the district over the years. In continuation to this, the Government of Kerala during 2021-22 started registering JLGs throughout the state under the Dairy Development Department. Since registration is not mandatory, the SHGs/JLGs can also be directly formed under the dairy cooperatives. It is time that the dairy cooperatives shall become a conglomeration of SHGs; as each SHG can be considered a ‘micro dairy society’, which will ensure empowerment of its members and efficient internal and external resource management.

IEEC-2023 at RARI (SKNAU, Jobner), Jaipur, Rajasthan organised by Society of Extension Education, Agra, India