There is increased interest among policymakers and practitioners on collectivization, as it can offer a platform for small and marginal farmers to negotiate with markets from a position of greater strength. More and more producer companies (PCs) are being formed. Therefore, it is important to know their numbers, their distribution and health. Yet, as those working on producer companies are aware, disaggregated data on registered producer companies is not easily accessible.
Therefore, my colleague and I undertook an exercise to clean up and analyse data uploaded by the Registrar of Companies on all types of pubic and private companies registered until end of March 2019.
As of March 31, 2019, a total of 7,374 PCs have been registered in the country. Almost all states and union territories have registered some producer companies. However, a large number of companies are concentrated in some states: for example, Maharashtra alone accounts for more than one quarter of all producer companies in India.
The above table shows state-wise distribution of producer companies registered until end of FY18-19. 92% of these companies are farmer producer companies (FPCs).
The 7374 registered producer companies have a combined Paid-Up Capital (PUC) of about Rs. 860 crore. As one would expect, there are a few companies with very large PUC and a large number of companies with very small PUC. For example, the PUC of top 100 companies (Rs 587 crore) accounts for more than two thirds of the total PUC of all companies and at the other end, there are 189 companies with just Rs. 1000 or less PUC each. The median PUC is Rs. 1.06 lakh for all registered companies.
As part of this analysis, we also estimated the total number of farmers who are now members of FPCs and the number turned out to be quite large: 4.3 million. There are roughly 90 million farming household in India, so 4.3 million represents roughly 5% of all farmers. With continued formation of new PCs, this number is expected to increase.
We recently published an article on this in The Wire with more details: How Many Farmer Producer Companies Are There in India?
We are working on a comprehensive report, which will be released over the next few months.