Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative
|Founded||3 November 1967|
|Revenue||₹20,788 crore (US$3.0 billion) (2017-18)|
|Subsidiaries||IFFCO Tokio General Insurance Company Limited|
Kisan International Trading FZE
IFFCO Kisan Logistics Limited
IFFCO Kisan Sanchar Limited
IFFCO eBazar Limited
IFFCO-MC Crop Science Private Limited
Indian Farm Forestry Development Cooperative Limited
Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited, also known as IFFCO is a Multi-state cooperative society engaged in the business of manufacturing and marketing of fertilisers headquartered in New Delhi, India . Started in 1967 with 57 member cooperatives it is today the biggest co-op in the world by turnover on GDP per capita with around 35,000 member cooperatives reaching over 50 million Indian farmers.
With around 19% market share in Urea and around 29% market share in complex fertilisers (P2O5 terms) IFFCO is India's largest fertiliser manufacturer.
The food crisis of the early '60s mobilised India's farmers and the founding fathers of a `young' India to look for longer-term solutions. International organisations, including the American Cooperative Study Team, conducted fertiliser feasibility studies in India to increase production. The cooperative sector in India at that time was distributing 70 per cent of the chemical fertilisers consumed in the country. This sector had adequate infrastructure to distribute fertilisers but had no production facilities. With the introduction of multi-agency approach by the Government of India in the distribution of fertilisers during 1967, the private trade also entered the field of fertiliser distribution. The private sector production units provided more opportunities to the distribution network of private trade and gave secondary preference to the cooperatives in the matter of supplies. Due to this development, the cooperatives started getting less supplies of the fertilisers.
To overcome this limitation and also to bridge the growing demand for the fertilisers in the country, a new cooperative was conceived. The notion of the cooperative was especially appealing for its core values of self-help, accountability, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity. In the year 1964, the Cooperative League of USA proposed to the Government of India that the American Cooperatives were interested to collaborate with Indian Cooperatives in setting up fertiliser production capacity.
The idea appealed to the Government of India and eminent cooperators of the country. As a result, Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited (IFFCO) was conceived and registered on 3 November 1967, as a multi-unit cooperative society with the primary objective of production and distribution of fertilisers. The U.S. Cooperatives through Cooperative Fertiliser International (CFI) provided a financial aid besides technical know-how to IFFCO.1967 saw proposals submitted for Ammonia, Urea and NPK plants, notably at Kalol and Kandla in Gujarat, and on 3 November 1967, IFFCO was registered as a multi-unit cooperative.
The Kalol and Kandla plants were commissioned and built with great innovations and indigenous materials. In 1974, the plant at Kalol, Gujarat was inaugurated and project work for two more plants was initiated.
Two more Urea plants were commissioned at Phulpur and Aonla in Uttar Pradesh. IFFCO's founding Managing Director: Mr. Paul Pothen received the Padma Shri award for his contribution to the revival and growth of India's Agricultural and farming community. IFFCO became a stakeholder in Industries Chimiques Du Senegal (ICS), Senegal's biggest industrial venture to manufacture Phosphoric Acid.
The Kalol, Kandla, Phulpur and Aonla plants were expanded to increase production capacity and improve production technology to meet the increasing demand for IFFCO fertilisers and meet the growing demand for food in India. This was the decade of major transformation, which set the foundation for the growth that the organisation was about to undertake in the forthcoming years. The process led to significant expansion in the capacity and capabilities of the manufacturing units that resulted in phenomenal increase in the operational efficiency of the plants and brought them at par with the highest global standards. To further improve productivity and profitability an impetus was put on getting IFFCO on the global map and Joint Ventures were established in Oman, Jordan and Dubai. And diversified the business interests of IFFCO beyond fertilisers to sectors like General insurance, rural telephony, international trading, pesticides and even rural e-commerce. These steps proved to be a game changer and catapulted IFFCO into a new era.
IFFCO became an autonomous cooperative, expanding its presence and partnerships in India and abroad. The year 2000 saw the establishing of IFFCO Tokio General Insurance Company Ltd., and the launch of customised rural-centric insurance products. IFFCO acquired shareholding in the Oman India Fertiliser Company. The Paradeep plant was acquired, and the Kisan International Trading FZE (KIT), a wholly owned subsidiary for imports, exports and logistics support for fertilisers, raw materials and intermediates, was set up in Dubai. IFFCO also made forays into Jordan and established Jordan India Fertilizer Company L.L.C and promoted IFFCO Kisan Sanchar Ltd, a unique venture to bring the benefits of modern mobile communications to rural India.
IFFCO embarked on several expansion and diversification plans to increase its domestic fertiliser production capacity. These plans also included the acquisition of more plants, further overseas joint ventures and the introduction of several energy reduction measures to improve production efficiency, and minimise carbon footprint. In a joint venture with Mitsubishi Corporation, Japan, IFFCO-MC Crop Science Private Limited was incorporated to provide quality agrochemicals in India. The IFFCO iMandi was envisioned to introduce the modern retail and information experience to rural India by combining technology with experience to deliver value to consumers in the Indian hinterland.
- Kalol, Gujarat: Commissioned in 1975 and expanded in 1997, it produces ammonia and urea.
- Kandla, Gujarat: Commissioned in 1975 and first expanded in 1981 and again in 1999, it produces NPK (10:26:26), NPK (12:32:16), NP (20:20:0:13), DAP (18:46:0) and water-soluble fertilisers.
- Phulpur, Uttar Pradesh: Commissioned in 1981 and expanded in 1997, it produced ammonia and urea.
- Aonla, Uttar Pradesh: Commissioned in 1988 and expanded in 1996, it produced ammonia and urea.
- Paradeep, Odisha: Taken over in 2005, it produced phosphoric acid, sulphuric acid and phosphoric pentoxide (fertiliser grade)
Associates and subsidiaries
- Indian Potash Limited in India
- Industries Chimiques du Senegal, Senegal
- Oman India Fertiliser Company SAOC, Oman
- Jordan India Fertiliser Company LLC, Jordan
- IFFCO Tokio General Insurance Company Limited
- National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange
- IFFCO Kisan Sanchar Limited
- IFFCO Kisan Logistics Limited
- IFFCO Kisan Special Economic Zone Limited
- IFFCO-MC Crop Science Pvt. Limited
- Indian Potash Limited
Farmers development initiatives
- Indian Farm Forestry Development Cooperative Ltd
- Cooperative Rural Development Trust
- IFFCO Kisan Sewa Trust