There is no alternative to agriculture and cooperative if overall social and economic progress of individual, society and thereby of the entire region is to be achieved. This was the thinking that informed the cooperative movement initiated by late Rajarambapu Patil in Walva area. When he set up Walva cooperative sugar factory, it opened many avenues of employment opportunities for the people in the region.
In the next phase, Rajarambapu Patil set up a network of cooperative set-ups like ‘Walva cooperative textile industry, Walva Cooperative Dairy Federation, Rajarambapu Cooperative bank, Walva taluka Central Cooperative Consumer Society which totally transformed the economy and the lives of people in the region. All these projects were set up by Bapu with the constructive purpose of rebuilding the lives of people, improving the economy of the region and for overall welfare of one and all. Due to his great constructive, socio-economic work Rajarambapu, people conferred on him the title of ‘Lokneta’ or leader of the masses. Jayant Patil was a witness to all these developments and his father’s sterling leadership. However, since he was pursuing education, he had rarely participated in any of Bapu’s projects. Therefore, when he decided to take plunge into socio-political life, the legacy of Bapu and the baton to carry forward the huge task automatically fell on the shoulders of Jayant Patil. Actually, managing the cooperative movement initiated by Bapu in the region was the main challenge before Jayant Patil. Carrying it forward was the next step. But this young and dynamic youth not only rose to the occasion but also but also took it to the next level. The result of his total commitment and excellent leadership can be gauged from the fact that this cooperative movement in Walva taluka has remained unblemished at a time when the cooperatives elsewhere are mired in allegations of corruption. Today the cooperative institutions built by Rajarambapu are not only standing on a solid foundation, but they have also been put on fast track of progress by Jayant Patil.
RajaramBapu Patil cooperative sugar factory was set up on August 17, 1968 and since then it has played a pivotal role in the economic, social and educational improvement of the people in the region. This huge sugar mill with a crushing capacity of 4500 metric tonnes has won various awards for having best economic planning, technical capacity, best distillery and sugarcane development program. A principal theory is doing the round nowadays that the sugar mills should engage in co-generation and by-production to sustain themselves. However, Rajarambapu sugar mill is the original practitioner of this modern concept since long. A co-generation plant with the generation capacity of 12 MW was set up at the sugar mill’s Wategon, Surul unit no 2. The plant is operating successfully, which shares some of its power with the state-owned Mahavitaran. Power is sold to Mahavitaran and the income is helping the farmers. This plant plays a major role in getting the members additional remunerative price for their sugarcane.
Jayant Patil has also successfully experimented with running a sick sugar mill called Sarvoday cooperative sugar factory at Karandwadi. The sugar factory was facing economic crisis and a debt of Rs 43crore. Jayant Patil paid off the debt in a single installment and took over the management of the mill. When people find it difficult to run just one sugar factory, here is this dynamic man who is running all the three units of sugar mill at Sakhrale, Wategaon Surul and Karandwadi with great success.
Bapu had created a new avenue of employment opportunities by setting up a spinning yarn mill in 1979. Jayantrao has turned that spinning yarn mill into a textile mill. When he realized that spinning yarn mill was not generating enough employment, he set up a slew of textile processing units like ‘Prena yarn’, a yarn colouring unit; ‘Jayant Textiles’ for weaving clothes, ‘Indraprastha Knitting’ for weaving hosiery fabrics, and ‘Pratibimb processing unit’ to process the fabrics. He further expanded the industrial complex by starting Parivartan garments and Satyasai woven processing units. Today ‘Jayant’ and ‘Joys’ export quality brands in fabrics have earned name and fame at the international level. There is a showroom of ‘Parivartan’ garment showroom in Islampur. The textile complex has generated jobs for more than 1500 local people. Around 400 women in the surrounding area are working in the textile units. 60 percent of women are from backward communities while 40 percent are from other backward communities. Jayantrao has done the extraordinary job of taking the Ganges of development to every household through the textile industrial complex.
Rajarambapu had set up Rajarambapu cooperative bank in 1981 and this bank is also making tremendous progress under the able leadership of Jayant Patil. This bank has maintained ‘A’ class in audit since inception and has distributed 10 to 15 percent dividends to the bank members. The bank has deposits worth Rs 600 crore and has distributed loans worth around Rs 300 crore. This bank has a total of 25 branches in Mumbai and Pune and 2 extension counters. As a part of social commitment, bank extends economic assistance out of its development fund and member welfare fund to the seriously ill patients for their treatment. The bank has adopted a policy of providing educational loan to intelligent and needy students by giving them discount on interest rate, and thus encouraging them to continue their education.
Rajarambapu had set up Rajarambapu cooperative milk federation in 1975 to help the farmers in the region. This federation has also continued to make an eye-catching progress under the leadership of Jayant Patil. The federation has an annual turnover of Rs 200 crore with the daily collection of 2.50 lakh litres milk. The federation’s ‘Krishna’ brand has carved a niche for itself in the dairy market. Its products have become popular in the state’s main cities. An independent identity has also been created in the field of cattlefeed. The federation has been totally computerized. This is the first milk federation to have introduced E.R.P process. This federation has got strengthened under the leadership of the federation with a slew of new projects lying in the pipeline like producing milk powder among others. Jayant Patil’s foresight, guidance and visionary leadership has given a new direction to the federation.
Projects like Agriculture Graduate Industrial Cooperative Federation also testify to the ingenuity of Jayant Patil. This federation has been set up to produce and supply high quality seeds and pesticides to the farmers, particularly sugarcane growers. Jayant Patil has done yeoman’s duty towards the farmers in Krishna-Warna valley. High grade seeds, fertilizers, pesticides and micronutrients are provided to the farmers through this federation. Besides, the federation has now taken the initiative for producing organic manure after it noticed that the excessive use of chemical fertilizers had ruined the fertility of the soil. It is through his inspiration that the first organic manure project set up on cooperative principle has been erected here. This organic manure is distributed to the sugar mill members as well as other famers under various government schemes. He encouraged the sugarcane cultivators to adopt alternative crop pattern for their own benefit. The federation urged them to especially cultivate the interim crop of potatoes and thus reap greater benefits. Having been convinced of the utility of interim crop, farmers have now taken to cultivating potatoes in a big way. Besides, he extended further cooperation to the farmers by extending the facilities like soil testing laboratory and nature nursery.
From time to time, knowledge updation programmes like agricultural exhibitions and seminars are held to guide the farmers about the new farming techniques. The unique project of ‘seed chariot’ informing the farmers about the seed processing became very popular and ably guided the farmers in the region.
With a view to make every essential commodity available under one roof, Rajarambapu set up Walva Taluka Central Cooperative Wholesale and Retail Consumer Store in 1967. It was transformed into small wholesale centres in 1980. In keeping with the march of time, Jayant Patil has now turned them into departmental stores. Branches of these stores have been opened at taluka places and the consumers are getting an overwhelming response. Walva Bazaar has succeeded in convincing the people of that the guaranteed clean, cheap and quality goods are available there only. Attractive prize schemes and discounts are offered on the occasion of festivals. In today’s age of competition, the multi-brand malls may be posing a challenge. Yet Walva bazaar remains unaffected, on the other hand it is getting more popular day by day. It is Jayantrao’s visionary leadership in action here.
Rajaram Solvex which was set up in 1991 also testifies to the foresight of Jayant Patil. He made a lot of financial saving for the company by turning the solvent plant into refinery. He started the oil seed crushing and packaging for companies like Rajdhara and Saffola. Jayant Patil made effort to secure maximum benefits to the farmers by buying soyabean and sunflower seeds from them.
Walva Taluka Women’s Civil Credit Society is one more shining example of social commitment of Jayantrao and Mrs Shailjadevi. This project was undertaken with the noble aim of empowering women economically and uplifting their standard of living. It requires no comment on the present condition of the cooperative credit societies in the state. In the last 25 years, this women’s cooperative credit society has laid a firm foundation in the region. This credit society enjoys a pride of place in the lives of women through its transparent and public-oriented management.
After taking into account all the projects, one easily remembers how Jayantrao has continued to great legacy of cooperative movement initiated by his father Rajarambapu. Importantly, he has achieved all this while maintaining its unblemished record in all dealings. This is not an easy thing. At a time when the so-called titans in cooperatives are leading their institutions to perdition, Jayant Patil has achieved a rare success in this sector by getting the people to participate in the movement. Cooperative sector in itself is not bad, but bad are those who use it for their narrow personal goals. This is what Jayant Patil has proved through his constructive and dedicated work in the cooperative sector.