In the post-independence period our country accepted democratic system of government and preferred mixed economy to ensure balanced development. While the five-year plans envisaging agro-industrial development were in progress, our visionary Prime Minister Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru was attracted by the co-operative movement that proved to be an effective measure of rural upliftment and harbinger of all round progress for the newly born country. While Jawaharlal Nehru dreamt of the co-operative movement, late Vaikunthbhai Mehta and Dhananjayrao Gadgil were engrossed in putting the co-operation in practice. Vitthalrao Vikhe-Patil a farmer by birth opened new vistas for farming fraternity by founding a co-operative sugar factory. The architect of Modern Maharashtra, late Yashwantrao Chavan and mass-leader Vasantdada Patil provided every support for the movement in its infancy period. Later Sharadraoji Pawar took the movement up to a remote village level making it popular by bringing about vertical as well as horizontal growth. The co-operative movement spread over a number of sectors such as sugar mills, spinning mill, dairy, consumer stores, poultry, bank & credit societies, primary societies. This gave excellent fillip to rural development which in turn raised income of farming fraternity. It is a matter of pride that Western Maharashtra remained in the forefront of co-operative movement.
On account of favourable Geo-climatic conditions, hard working farmers and ample irrigation facilities, Kolhapur district in Western Maharashtra is known for abundant production of sugarcane. This in turn triggered the establishment of the sugar industry. At the beginning of the eighties, ample arid land came under cultivation due to Doodhganga (Kallammawadi) dam resulting buoyant growth in the cane production. In Kolhapur District more and more farmers were inclined to produce sugar-cane. This exerted undue pressure on the then existing sugar mills in the district, due to which late crushing of sugar cane threw the farmers in embarrassment. The village Hupari and its surrounding area faced this critical circumstances severely. Hence, Hon’ble Kallappanna Awade, a doyen in co-operative movement decided to establish Jawahar Shetkari Sahakari Sakhar Karkhana in the year 1981. However, the condition of minimum distance between two sugar mills proved to be hindrance for the new sugar mill and hence he could not secure an industrial license for about a decade. Further in 1990, the Central Government has taken a policy decision to reduce the distance between two sugar mills to 15 k.m. as against 40 k.m. earlier. In furtherance of this decision, the Government of Maharashtra proclaimed a pragmatic policy of rehabilitation of sugar factories in private sector closed down for want of sugarcane and allow to shift where the cane is surplus through co-operatives. The Government of Maharashtra sanctioned the proposal to transfer of machinery alongwith the Industrial license of 1016 TCD of Godavari Sugar Mills Ltd. Sakarwadi in Ahmednagar district in Maharashtra. Hon’ble Prakash Awade, the then Minister of State for Co-operation, Government of Maharashtra extended every help in getting this permission and accordingly Jawahar Shetkari Sahakari Sakhar Karkhana Ltd., Hupari was registered under the Maharashtra Co-operative Societies Act on 29/1/1990.
Government issued industrial license on 28/9/1990 for the transfer of machinery with crushing capacity of 1016 TCD of Godavari Sugar Mills and to establish the new project at Hupari. On account of the ample availability of sugarcane in the command area of the factory, Government, on request, permitted the factory to enhance the crushing capacity up to 2500 TCD under the ‘Minimum Economic Scale of Operation’. The management purchased a land measuring 100 hectares from the Government of Maharashtra from the area known as Indumati Park. A distinct water supply scheme for the factory from the river Doodhganga was also undertaken to ensure continuous water supply. The Project Report was prepared by the National Federation of Cooperative Sugar Factories for the crushing capacity of 2500 TCD. Government of Maharashtra accorded administrative and economic sanction to the project of Rs. 31.88 crores on 30/03/1992. The machinery at Sakarwadi was brought to the site of Hupari. Requisite spare parts and miscellaneous machinery were also purchased. The machinery was erected within record seven and a half month period and trial crushing was done on 30/04/1993. Since the beginning, the management has been keen about the precision of technical work and adherence of various norms with regard to Government rules of the environment. The effluent treatment plant was set up and the treated water was used for irrigation of land. The first crushing season was successfully ended in the year 1993-94 and it was revealed that 35 to 40 % of the total sugarcane came from the adjacent State of Karnataka. Hence, the factory was registered under the Multi-State Co-operative Societies Act. This enabled the factory to give membership to cane growers from karanataka and thus secured assurance of ample availability of cane. Gradually, the factory made necessary modifications required for enhancement in crushing capacity in order to benefit in future. The consistent modernisation and expansions in phase manner raised the ultimate cane crushing capacity up to 9000 TCD. In fact, the factory has been crushing more than its capacity with utmost utilisation of the existing machinery.
Since the inception of the factory, there were two turbo-alternators, one of 3 MW capacity of Triveni make and the other one of 1.5 MW of Brown Boveri make. From the second cane crushing season of 1994-95, the factory started exporting 1.5 MW electricity to MSEB. Further, two additional turbines of 12 MW capacity each were installed under the expansion programme. Hence, 13.5 MW surplus electricity was exported to MSEB from the year 2001-02 to 2006-07. Since 2007-08, 3 MW co-generation set was activated in the place of 1.5 MW and hence in all 15 MW electricity is being exported to MSEB since then. Today, co-generation has no longer remained a novel concept. However, before 15 years, to install co-generation set under Back Pressure Route technology was indeed a challenge. The factory made it possible due to determination and confidence. Under the guidance and expertise of technical officials of VSI the factory succeeded in installing the co-generation plants. Hence, the co-generation at our factory was deemed to be a pilot project in the sphere of sugar industry in the State and it was proudly mentioned in various conferences and workshops. It is a matter of great pride that the unique project was visited by a number of office bearers and dignitaries from sugar mills in Southern and Northern India and placed on record their admiration. Today, ultra-modern technology has come in co-generation but the sincere efforts made in the initial period in this regard have carved a niche in the history of Jawahar. Co-generation is one of the important by-products of sugar industry and it provides a mean of financial support. Besides, it is a kind of participation in the national campaign of energy production.
Since the beginning, the factory has been keen over the scientific treatment of effluents of the factory and set-up modern machinery for the treatment. Hence, the factory has never been blamed for polluting the water resource and making the land infertile due to factory discharges. The management is very alert about the environment and hence due care has been taken to install requisite machinery, equipments and devices at various departments to check pollution. The requisite height of chimneys and thereby control over ash fly and different protective devices to check pondering sound has helped to keep the factory premises and campus pollution-free. Besides, plantation of various trees along the interior roads, shady trees viz. Ashoka, Raintree and palms swaying in the garden, colourful seasonal flowers in flower beds and patches of lush green lawn has not only made the landscape beautiful but helps to provide mental and physical energy and health of the employees also. It gives delight to visitors when they step in the factory campus. The temple of Rajrajeshwari and the beautiful garden developed around it is a place of shrine as well as a picnic spot and park for the children and people around. A number of schools arrange their picnics and spend a day or half in the bracing atmosphere. Children park consists of colourful fountains, toys and flowering plants which attract the toddlers. Especially, in the evening the entire area is seen buzzing with twittering and chirping of birds and kids.Maratha Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture, Pune conferred on our factory the prestigious award of Dr.R.J. Rathi for the Excellent work on the Environment control front.
The elections to the Board of Directors are unopposed since inception of the factory. This not only reflects the unity and integration of the members but also the unparalleled devotion of the board and oneness between management and membership.
Members being the backbone of the factory, every effort are made to safeguard the interest of the producer member. A medical aid of Rs.50,000/- is given to the member for the diseases like cardiac ailments, cancer, Kidney surgery etc. Mediclaim insurance facility has been provided for the employees and financial help is extended in case of serious or critical diseases. Apart from this, training, industrial tour and such other conducive activities are also conducted. Because of satisfactory wages & salary and many other perks the management-employee relations are harmonious.