The Kerala State Cooperative Marketing Federation Ltd (MARKETFED) began as a District Wholesale Cooperative Store on 24th December 1942 with area of operation throughout erstwhile Malabar District. It started business on 14.1.1943. In 1958 the Store was brought under Plan Scheme and converted into a Marketing Society. On 10th August 1960 this Society was converted into an apex Federation of marketing societies and the area of operation was extended to entire Kerala State. As in the case of democratic setup the general body is the ultimate authority of Marketfed. There is a total membership of 86 member societies which includes the state government.
The executive powers of MARKETFED are vested with the Managing Director. He is assisted by Finance Manager, Manager (Admin), Marketing Manager (Fertilizer), Marketing Manager (Oil Seeds), and Marketing Manager (Spices). The entire procurement and distribution works are managed by these personnel. There are 14 district offices in Kerala for the smooth distribution of fertilizers, Plant Protection Chemicals (PP Chemicals i.e. pesticides) etc to the Farmers through co-operative societies. Today, the Marketfed with diversified business activities in the farming sector stands exclusively for the best interests of the community through its members as well as other co-operative institutions.
The Management of the Federation shall vest in a Board of Directors consisting of the following members, namely;
- One member from among the delegates of the affiliated societies in each Revenue District elected by the delegates of all affiliated societies.
- One member from SC/ST and three women members elected by the delegates of all affiliated societies without any Revenue District reservation in electing such member to the Board of Directors.
- Three nominees of Government.
- One nominee of NCDC.
- One Managing Director to be appointed by the Board of Directors in consultation with Government.
- Registrar of co operative societies, Kerala.
Since its inception as an apex body of primary marketing societies in Kerala, it has been striving to provide better marketing facilities, fair prices for their produces even direct purchase of the commodities whenever required, eliminating middlemen and intermediaries, distributing agricultural inputs on easy terms of payment, exploring and establishing export markets for our traditional produces like black pepper, cardamom, turmeric, dry ginger, cloves etc.
In addition to its own marketing activities, Marketfed also acts as an agent of the State and Central Governments and for procuring agricultural produces by intervening in the market as per specific directions as and when there happens to be a price crash for ensuring a reasonable and fair price to the farmers as and when required. Procurement of cardamom, pepper, cloves, copra, cashew etc was thus undertaken by Marketfed at the instance of both state and central governments on various occasions. Besides Marketfed has also successfully implemented various development schemes of the Central and State Agricultural Departments in Cashew, Coconut, Black Pepper and other produces by supplying, procuring and distributing inputs and plant protection chemicals through more than 600 primary Societies and service banks taking into account our excellent performance in fertilizer distribution over the last five decades.
The distribution of fertilizers (Chemical, organic and bio) and PP Chemicals (both chemical and bio) through primary societies has been our one of the major fields with over 20% market shares. Fertilizers are procured directly from major institutions like IFFCO. KRIBHCO, MCF, MFL, RCF, IPL etc. by ensuring quality and distributed to the farmers avoiding intermediaries after taking a nominal margin. The gradual rose in the distribution of fertilizers from previous years shows the dedicated service to the farmers and the confidence and goodwill earned by Marketfed in this field. Likewise in the distribution of pesticides also Maketfed has its own position in terms of quality and price. Marketfed was also the major distributor of agricultural inputs like Urea, Rock, MOP, MgSO4 and lime to the Coconut Producer Societies in some of the districts in Kerala under “Replanting and Rejuvenation” scheme and “Laying out of Demonstration Plot” scheme of the Coconut Development Board, Kochi for the financial years 2013-014 and 2014-15.
Procurement and sale including exports of spice like black pepper, cardamom, dry ginger, cloves etc. ever since early seventies are the traditional business activities undertaken by Marketfed. The award received by Marketfed for the best exporter for pepper in the past itself is an ample proof for outstanding performance in this field. Marketfed has also handled arecanut, cashew, copra etc in a significant way in the past by procuring the same directly from the growers. The opening of a procurement centre exclusively for spices in Nedumkandam has been in the right direction to help the growers to find outlets for their produces so that reasonable prices are assured. Procurement and sale of Guntur Dried Chillies is yet another new business activity undertaken by Marketfed. From 2014 onwards Marketfed has started supply of coconuts to Sri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine, Jammu, Mother Dairy Delhi and Cardamom to Tirumala Tirupati Devastanams and Travancore Devaswam Board for Sabarimala. Sale of roasted, micro filtered Coconut oil in the brand name “Kerajam”, has been some of other business activities
Marketfed has already started a new line of business by selling Kerala’s own quality spices (black pepper, cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon) in attractive gift boxes in the brand name “Seasonings”. This is targeted to the tourists and international markets with the intention of making premium spices available to them right from the gardens without losing its aroma and flavor.
Diversification of Business
We have submitted project reports to the State Government for constructing godowns in five places in the state under RKVY scheme. We are also planning to set up Coconut Oil Mill complex, Fertilizer Mixing Units etc. which will ultimately benefit the farmers of this state. Considering the interests of consumers, Marketfed is also planning to enter into the field of retail trade very soon.
We have also submitted a proposal to the State Government to act as “Nodal Agency” for procurement and distribution of various straight fertilizers and complex fertilizers. The intention is to procure quality fertilizers well in advance and distribute the same as and when required by the farmers at reasonable prices.