Benevolent Baburao Naidu a Messaiah for Tribals

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Aditya Sabharwal

Mr Babu Rao Naidu, IAS is a man on a mission. In his previous role as the VC VUDA (now VMRDA) he was known for his proactive measures in solving an eclectic range of issues and getting things cleared at a fast pace.

Now as the VC and MD of GCC, Mr Naidu is gearing up GCC to compete with the best yet making sure that the organization’s mission and objective is still intact.

The state of Andhra Pradesh is home to an estimated 4 million tribals and it was 60 years ago that Girijan Co-operative Corporation (GCC) undertook the gaurdianship of these tribals.

GCC aims to protect tribals from exploitative middlemen and petty traders and to keep the tribals smiling by improving their economic status. It is this very reason that is driving Mr Naidu at GCC.  ’Middlemen are exploiting the tribals here and I am leaving no stone unturned in getting tribals what they deserve’.

Clearing the Middlemen

From a cultivable 150000 acres of coffee the “bearing” area is said to be about 60000 acres. From this 60,000 acres about 10,000 metric tonnes of coffee is produced and out of this GCC only markets close to 1000 metric tonnes.

‘9000 acres is what is being exploited by middlemen’ said the GCC MD.

There are close to 93000 farmers in this belt and only about 20000-25000 have registered themselves with GCC.

He says that GCC gives up to 50% of the value of the stock at the time of sourcing wherein the balance is paid to the tribals after sale of the stock. Middlemen he says pay slightly more than the 50% and takes their entire stock thus leaving tribals short changed. ‘If the tribals had waited they would have got much more than what is being offered to them by the middlemen’ said Mr Naidu. Exploiting the tribals by luring them with quick money which is  way less than what GCC is offering them is not fair to the tribals said Mr Naidu.

Despite these hurdles Mr Naidu is leading a sea change of transformation at GCC from quality checks and quality control to procurement to aggressive marketing strategies.

‘GCC is a marketing wing not a bureaucratic wing’ stated Mr Naidu.

There are currently 14 GCC outlets that are operational with 13 more in progress and 10 more proposed.

Business turnover has skyrocketed in the past 2 years from Rs 247.77 crores in 2016-17 to Rs 307.27 crores in 2017-18 it is well on its way of achieving Rs 520 crores for this fiscal.

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