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Database Creation — The rate determining steps in researching “BHARAT”

Our previous blogs have given a succinct glimpse into the chaos that a researcher gets into understanding farmer producer organisations (FPOs). The degree of mismatch between theoretical and actual definitions of financial inclusion and even farmer producer organisation is so high- we just do not have a standard to follow. The result — we end up spending an exorbitant amount of time just to get a grip on navigating a way through the primary premises of researching on Indian FPOs. The highlight of the last four months is: a deep understanding of our Indian style of working — lack of clean documentation and a grave difficulty in collaborative working. To all nascent researchers understanding “BHARAT”, please note that a farmer producer organisation is just a loosely coined term (similar to NGO). The legal entity is either a trust, a co-operative society or a producer company. When you come to terms with this and start scouting for preliminary data (like registration year and address) you have just touched the jackpot of unorganised data. Tadaa! Data which will be useful cannot be trusted though (they are probably manual entries) and are prone to human errors, or insufficient and incomplete. Let us take you through our initial journey and enlighten you with this preliminary data screening. One stumbling block we had to overcome initially, was the lack of a credible database of FPOs in the country and our persistent efforts at sourcing an exhaustive and comprehensive list were in vain. This was when it dawned on us that we had to make a conscious effort to build a database which aids our analysis and also acts as a starting point for future researchers. To work with a limited yet widest possible scope, we decided to focus on Farmer Producer Companies (FPCs), a dominant subset of FPOs (and because at least some data about their registration is available in public domain) and through expert interviews we understand that the cooperative society and trusts are transitioning into FPC structure. We sourced lists of all companies that were registered in India from 2002 to date (August 2020), available at the website of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA). This was spread across multiple files and multiple tabs sometimes organised by state and at times, by date of incorporation. We used a text filter to narrow in on approximately 12,000 companies that had the words “Producer Company Limited” in their registered name, a statutory requirement for all producer companies. We further narrowed the list to approximately 10,000 names by filtering for relevant industry codes (from the CIN) that pertain to agriculture and allied activities which are usually undertaken by FPOs. We realised that we now had capital information of companies, but were still missing other important information such as charges on assets. Therefore, for these 10,000 odd companies, we sourced publicly available financial information from Zauba Corp, a company research website (frankly better represented than the MCA website). Presently, we are in the final phase of preparing the database and calculating its accuracy. Do reach out to us if you too get into the same hassle, and tune in further to check out our interesting analysis that will follow. Till then — Happy Researching!

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1 Comment

jenni kaur
jenni kaur
Oct 27, 2023

Research is play one of the importance role of the blog when I was writing my first difference between lawyer notice and court notice blog. that's time, I am weak in the research part. so I followed your steps that mentioned in your blog.

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