West Bengal State Cooperative Marketing Federation Ltd., popularly known as BENFED, is a state-level apex cooperative marketing society which was organized and registered in 1958, under W.B.C.S. Acts, 1940, by the Department of Cooperation, Government of West Bengal. At the time of registration, the name of the organization was West Bengal Apex Cooperative Marketing Society Ltd. Its trade name ‘BENFED’ was coined in 1976. Now it is also declared as State Institutional Agency in 2008 by the Department of Agriculture, Government of West Bengal.
It functions with the following broad objectives:
Area of operation of BENFED covers the whole of West Bengal.
BENFED is the federation of block level cooperative Primary Agricultural Marketing and Processing Cooperative Societies. Primary Agricultural Marketing Societies and Primary Processing Societies belong to A class and B class share–holder members respectively. Government of West Bengal is C class share holder. Primary Agricultural Credit Societies can be affiliated as D class (nominal) members but without any voting right and entitlement to share of profit. The number of members is 277. BENFED celebrated the Golden Jubilee year in 2008-09. This more-than-fifty-years’ journey is remarkable in many respects. During sixties BENFED was the only agency of the Government to provide support to the framers in West Bengal. In fact BENFED has developed the habit of using chemical fertilizers amongst the farmers as per guidance of the State Agriculture Department.
BENFED is the single window cooperative agency of the farmers to get their entire range of inputs requirement and to sell their agriculture produce. Even the farmers can store their produce in the Cooperative Cold Storages constructed under technical guidance of BENFED. In order to provide remunerative price to the jute growers, BENFED constructed 12 Jute Complexes having facility of assortment, bailing and storage with capacity of 33600 MT during eighties.
BENFED has a wide spread network of Warehouses all over the state having storage capacity of 64500 MT fertilizer and 33600 MT Jute /Food grains. At present a good number of godowns are used for storing of Rice under PDS. It has roped in more than 2600 cooperatives in the network.