Gandhiji believed that if the farmers of the nation grew and prospered, the nation would too. He realised the importance of agriculture in our collective national well-being and was convinced that till the farmers of the nation collectively organised themselves as an economic entity, their lives would not improve.
It is against this backdrop that National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd., popularly known as NAFED, was founded on October 2, 1958, in line with Gandhiji’s vision of bringing prosperity to farmers. The mission of NAFED is to protect the interests of the farmers by providing them a ready market and remunerative prices for their produce.
A peep into the past
The organisation which started off with a modest setup at Ajmeri Gate in New Delhi with a few branch offices in some states, now has full-fledged infrastructure comprising a nine-storey corporate office at Ashram Chowk, New Delhi, 19 branches and eight sub-offices across the country along with various other infrastructure comprising warehouses, pre-cooling/cold storage units, onion storage complexes, tea grading and blending unit, seed and bio fertiliser production units, consumer marketing division, etc.
Survival and the great revival
NAFED set off on the journey of survival and revival under the leadership of the new Managing Director, Mr. Sanjeev Kumar Chadha, who joined the organisation in June 2016. The dedicated efforts of team NAFED under the able leadership of the MD led to the bailout of NAFED from a decade of financial crises, transforming it into a robust profitable organisation enthused with greater zest to serve the farmers. NAFED recorded a turnover of around ₹16,000 crore in 2019-2020.
“It is a matter of pride that NAFED is providing food to the needy during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic through its uninterrupted supply of pulses to all states and Union Territories under the PMGKAY.”Mr. Sanjeev Kumar Chadha, MD, NAFED
· Procurement of oilseeds, pulses and food grains: NAFED is one of the central nodal agencies of the Government of India (GOI) for procurement of oilseeds, pulses, ball/milling copra and dehusked coconut at MSP under PSS. During the last five years (2015-16 to 2019-20) NAFED purchased around 121 lakh MT of oilseeds and pulses, valued at around ₹58,000 crore, directly from the farmers providing them the benefit of MSP. NAFED also purchases paddy and wheat at MSP as an agency of State/FCI.
· Pulses arm of the nation: NAFED is the pulses arm of the nation benefitting not only the farmers through its pulses procurement operations but also the consumers through creation and management of pulses buffer and supply of pulses to States/UTs and prestigious institutions like Army and central paramilitary forces. Buffer stocking is organised on the direction of GOI with the aim of checking abnormal spurt in prices in the domestic market.
· Buffer stocking of onion: NAFED also creates and manages the buffer of onion on similar lines as pulses as per the directives of GOI.
· Working with farmer producer organisations (FPOs): Recently, NAFED has taken over the Federation of Indian FPOs and Aggregators (FIFA) with the aim to support the farmers by providing them market linkages and post harvest infrastructure. NAFED has also executed a joint venture, MahaOnion, with Maharashtra Farmers Producer Co. Ltd. (MahaFPC). MahaOnion launched India’s first state-of-the-art onion storage and marketing infrastructure through the PPP model for the benefit of farmers. NAFED has also launched e-Kisan Mandi at Pune and plans to open 100 such mandis pan India.
· Operation greens: NAFED is the implementing agency of GOI attainment of short-term objectives under “Operation Greens” for the benefit of growers of TOP (tomato, onion, potato) crops.
· Implementation of NADCP Programme: In October 2019, the Hon’ble Prime Minister launched the National Animal Disease Control Programme (NADCP) valued at ₹12,652 crore and aimed at vaccination of livestock against protection from FMD and Brucellosis diseases over a period of five years. NAFED being the implementing agency has delivered 15.57 crore doses of vaccines, 1.13 crore ear tags and 5,655 applicators to states/UTs across the country against this programme and further supplies are continuing.
· Apple procurement in Kashmir: Last year, NAFED provided respite to apple growers in Kashmir by undertaking purchase of apples in the Valley under the Market Intervention Scheme amidst most challenging conditions.
· Other business activities: Seed production/distribution, organic farming, bio fertilisers, setting up bio CNG plants.
NAFED’s response to Covid-19
Zeal to serve the nation in crises: During the Covid-19 pandemic , NAFED rose to the occasion to provide food to the needy. GOI entrusted NAFED with the challenging task of supplying milled/cleaned pulses under PMGKAY scheme to the states/UTs for onward distribution to the beneficiaries.
As on 11.10.2020, NAFED has supplied more than 10 lakh MT of pulses under PMGKAY to the states/UTs under this extremely challenging operation amidst the pandemic. By November 2020, it is expected that a quantity of 21.45 lakh MT of raw pulses would be utilised for supplies under the scheme. NAFED also supplied33,744.95 MT whole chana to migrants under the Atmanirbhar Bharat scheme during the pandemic.