Mr P.T. Gopala Kurup loves cattle and milking. It was this passion and sincerity towards the hapless dairy farmers that helped him continue as the chairman of Milma, the milk cooperative movement of the state, fighting against the corporate and private players in the market.
Now with a turnover of about Rs 2,500 crore, Mr Kurup has been leading the cooperative giant for the last 16 years.
“Even today, my family sells milk and whenever I am at home I myself milk the cows. When I stop selling milk, I will not be in the position. Only a true dairy farmer can lead the way. That is the system,” said Mr Kurup. The leading light of the Theneri primary milk producers’ society for the last many decades, Mr Kurup was always an inspiring leader of dairy farmers.
Earlier, Mr Kurup was the president of Wayanad Milk Producers’ Union and Malabar Region Milk Producers’ Union for many years. “I have been trying my level best to promote dairy farming and ensuring the right price for farmers in time. Now the farmer gets the price of his milk every tenth day,” he said.
“That apart we return to farmers 82 percent of the profit and I believe there will not be any other initiative that gives the farmer such a deserving share of profit,” he added. Mr Kurup dreams about turning the sector youth-friendly by introducing the latest technology and techniques.
“Looking back, I am satisfied. Today we have more than 3,000 Anand-model primary cooperatives, 14,000 agents, over 10,000 employees of cooperative units and 3,000 own employees”, he said.
“I never dreamt that a simple farmer like me would be able to instil so much pride and confidence in dairy farmers and lead them in times of crisis,” he added. Now Milma is an unchallenged entity with tie-ups at national and international levels, he pointed out.
When asked, “is it time to leave?” he said he would continue till the dairy farmers believed in him. His wife Sarala is a home maker and they have three children, Sajitha, Sajiny and Sreedevi.