During the 1960s the cooperative sector in India was responsible for the distribution of 70 per cent of the fertilisers consumed in the country. This sector had adequate infrastructure to distribute fertilisers but had no production facilities of its own and hence was dependent on public/private sectors for supplies. To overcome this difficulty and to bridge the demand supply gap in the country, a new cooperative society was conceived to specifically cater to the needs of farmers. It was a unique venture in which the farmers of the country through their own cooperative societies created this new institution to safeguard their interests. The number of cooperative societies associated with IFFCO have risen from 57 in 1967 to more than 37,700 at present. Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited (IFFCO) was registered on November 3, 1967 as a Multi-unit Co-operative Society. On the enactment of the Multistate Cooperative Societies act 1984 & 2002, the Society is deemed to be registered as a Multistate Cooperative Society. The Society is primarily engaged in the production and distribution of fertilisers. The bylaws of the Society provide a broad frame work for the activities of IFFCO as a cooperative society.
Plants owned by IFFCOEdit
During the years 2004 and 2005, IFFCO has emerged as a cooperative in true spirit. IFFCO is now entirely owned by its cooperatives and has become a cooperative of the farmers, by the farmers and for the farmers. Initially, IFFCO commissioned an ammonia - urea complex at Kalol and the NPK/DAP plant at Kandla both in the state of Gujarat in 1975. Another ammonia - urea complex was set up at Phulpur in the state of Uttar Pradesh in 1981. The ammonia - urea unit at Aonla was commissioned in 1988. Recently, IFFCO has acquired an NPK/DAP and Phosphoric acid fertiliser unit at Paradeep in Orissa in September 2005. The marketing of IFFCO’s products is channeled through cooperative societies and institutional agencies in over 28 states and union territories of India.
During the years 2004 and 2005 IFFCO produced 61.54 lakh tonnes of fertiliser material; registering overall capacity utilisation of 101 percent for nitrogenous and 114 per cent for phosphatic fertiliser. It contributes 18.3 per cent of country’s total nitrogenous fertiliser production and 23.5 percent of total phosphatic fertiliser production in the same period.. Plant productivity during the year stood at 1510 tonnes/person.
The Society has also achieved another important landmark in the field of energy conservation by clocking overall annual energy of 6.138 Gcal/tonne of urea.
The society has recorded an all time high turnover of Rs. 7224 crore and harvested a pre tax profit of Rs. 470.9 crore during the year 2004-05. It has paid dividends for the year 2004-05 at the rate of 20 percent of the paid up equity to its shareholders for the fourth consecutive year.
Diversification and Joint VenturesEdit
IFFCO has made strategic investments in several joint ventures. Godavari Fertilisers and Chemicals Limited (GFCL) & Indian Potash Limited in India, Industries Chimiques du Senegal (ICS) in Senegal and Oman India Fertiliser Company (OMIFCO) in Oman are important fertiliser joint ventures. Indo Egyptian Fertiliser Company (IEFCO)in Egypt is under implementation. As part of strategic diversification, IFFCO has entered into several key sectors. IFFCO-Tokio General Insurance Ltd (ITGI) is a foray into general insurance sector. Through ITGI, IFFCO has formulated new services of benefit to farmers. ‘Sankat Haran Bima Yojana’ provides free insurance cover to farmers along with each bag of IFFCO fertiliser purchased. To take the benefits of emerging concepts like agricultural commodity trading, IFFCO has purchased equity in National Commodity and Derivative Exchange (NCDEX) and National Collateral Management Services Limited (NCMSL). IFFCO Chattisgarh Power Limited (ICPL) which is under implementation is yet another foray to move into core area of power. IFFCO is also behind several other companies with the sole intention of benefitting farmers. The distribution of IFFCO’s fertiliser is undertaken through over 37,000 co-operative societies. The entire activities of Distribution, Sales and Promotion are co-ordinated by Marketing Central Office (MKCO) at New Delhi assisted by the Marketing offices in the field. In addition, essential agro-inputs for crop production are made available to the farmers through a chain of 158 Farmers Service Centre (FSC). IFFCO has promoted several institutions and organisations to work for the welfare of farmers, strengthening cooperative movement, improve Indian agriculture. Indian Farm Forestry Development Cooperative Ltd (IFFDC), Cooperative Rural Development Trust (CORDET), IFFCO Foundation, Kisan Sewa Trust belong to this category. An ambitious project ‘ICT Initiatives for Farmers and Cooperatives’ is launched to promote e-culture in rural India. IFFCO obsessively nurtures its relations with farmers and undertakes a large number of agricultural extension activities for their benefit every year.