Updated Oct 22, 2019

Akashganga - Automatic Milk Collection Systems

Using simple ICT solution that help rural milk producers raise their income through transparency in milk collection process at village level milk collection points.

www.akashganga.in

Ujval Parghi

This project was conceptualized more than twenty years ago, when IT awareness in the country was limited to big urban centers only. The fact that illiterate and semi-literate farmers accepted the system and are operating it confidently, is an achievement by itself. Computers are being used for a very basic activity like collection of milk for the past so many years and rural masses are comfortable with it and have reposed their confidence in it. Local entrepreneurs could spot the latent potential and have spread the system in the remote areas, through diligent work and timely support. They kept their system, without any monetary compensation for weeks together, for the DCS to try out and feel comfortable with it. The popular and widespread usage of AKASHGANGA breaks the myth that ICT will not help in solving the day-to-day problems of the rural masses. On the contrary, the farmers are very open to adopting new technologies (without being granted any kind of subsidies!), provided it delivers tangible benefits. In this case the benefits can be summarized as: * Speedier collection of milk (shorter queues!) and timely disbursement of payment. * Lower prevalence of corrupt practices. * Maintenance of DCS accounts is regularized and on time.

Focus Areas:

Food Safety and Standards and Good Governance

Food Safety and Standards and Good GovernanceSEE LESS

Implemented In:

Nepal, Vietnam and India

Nepal, Vietnam and IndiaSEE LESS

3
Countries Implemented In
9,300
Customers
155
Employees

Problem

AKASHGANGA (meaning ‘The Milky Way’) is being used at the Dairy Cooperative Society (DCS), which is a farmer-owned, grass-root level unit in the cooperative structure. All the farmers (members) of the DCS congregate twice a day at its premises to sell milk. Before AKASHGANGA, all the milk collection activities were performed manually. Due to the climatic conditions, milk would often get spoilt, as producers had to wait in long queues. Secondly, the payment for the milk sold would get held up.

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Solution

The simple technology used in this product has enabled the timely collection of milk and thus, generated higher profits for the producer, now paid well in time. A basic milk collection transaction done by AKASHGANGA comprises: * Measuring weight of milk with Electronic Weighing Scale * Fat testing using Milko Tester* Capture of unique member ID by the PC software * Printing of pay slip, with all this data and the amount to be paid.

Target Beneficiaries

Our groups of beneficiaries are farmers; mostly milk producers-very small ones; on an average a farmer in India, owns 1 or 2 milch animals or 1-2 acre of land. Dairying provides a sustainable regular additional income to each family.Our groups of beneficiaries are farmers; mostly milk producers-very small ones; on an average a farmer in India, owns 1 or 2 milch animals or 1-2 acre of land. Dairying provides a sustainable regular additional income to each family.

Mission and Vision

Vision – Become the leading integrated solution provider to rural dairy market by using simple but appropriate technology whereby generating higher earnings for milk producers. Mission: To benefit 1million+ rural milk producers in India by linking tradition with technology, customized solution, timely services through healthier trade practices.

Innovation Description

The information technology initially was a simple DOS-based system, since then it has been upgraded to a Windows version, comprising computer hardware and software, as well as milk weighing, testing, and interfacing equipment. The interface equipment is a microprocessor based electronic unit that allows the data about the milk to be transmitted to the PC. The data transmitted is also displayed on a display board, connected to the milk testing equipment. The complete interface mechanism of electronic unit with the PC is innovative and cost effective, as well as making operations transparent to farmers. Due to the benefits that Akashganga systems have delivered, SKEPL has been able to gain the faith and trust of its customers, despite their inherent lack of understanding of technology. The programme is innovative on following counts. 1. It encompasses the entire rural community 2. It is tailored to extremely user friendly by the community. 3. It provides opportunity to even those who are educationally deprived. 4. It is gender equilibrium. 5. It opens up to other areas of governance. 6. It cuts down on time for both the individuals and the enterprise is significant. 7. The time so saved is gainfully employed in other activities; including child and adult education. 8. It has replaced the traditional method and thus eliminating the use of corrosive and other chemicals. 9. The fall-out an environment has been significant.

Competitive Advantage

Although several companies provide equipment to local dairy cooperatives, integrated solution providers like SKEPL are limited. SKEPL’s primary competitor is Rajashtan Electronics India Ltd. (REIL), a joint venture between the government of India and the government of the state of Rajasthan. REIL has a major presence in electronic milk testers and automated milk collection systems. Other competitors include Capital Electronics, Optel Infotech and SST Technologies. The primary basis of competition in this market is price and customer support. Different players dominate in different parts of the country. Of the roughly 25000 automated milk collection systems installed in India, 9200 are Akashganga. The large potential of the market—1,60,000+ local cooperatives—and the lack of a major player in this rural sector bodes well for the company.

Planned Goals and Milestones

Implement a programme to connect the milk cooperatives with parent milk unions with common software & collect key daily data of milk alongwith providing a new milk testing device that quickly analyses milk quality with higher accuracy apart from checking milk adulteration issues.
Funding Goal2,000,000
Projected Cumulative Lives Impacted4,500,000
New Implemented CountriesBangladesh, Kenya, Bhutan, South Africa
Recruit6 management, 15 technical
New FeatureCreate vibrant platform for dairy sector

Milestones

Jul 2008
New Country Implemented In
Vietnam
Mar 1998
New Country Implemented In
Nepal
Date Unknown
New Country Implemented In
Vietnam
Date Unknown
New Country Implemented In
India
Date Unknown
New Country Implemented In
Nepal

Supporting Materials

Akashganga-India.pdf