The Co-operative Movement in India had its birth during 1904 with the passing of the Co-operative Societies Act. Later on activities started with the establishment of primary credit co-operatives with an objective to help the small farmers for distribution of loans mainly to avoid exploitation of the farmers by moneylenders. After India’s independence (1947), the Government of India in its Industrial Policy Resolution of 1948 stressed the need for rapid industrialization in the country by building up large co-operative sector with financial assistance from the Government. In the successive Five-year Plans the co-operative sector was given preference in every field as compared to the private and public sector organizations. A network of primary agricultural co-operatives is established at the village level for granting short-term and medium-term credit, supply of agricultural inputs and essential consumer commodities to the small farmers. Village level co-operative societies were affiliated to the District Co-operative Banks.
A spectacular development is achieved through the establishment of agricultural processing co-operatives viz. sugarcane, cotton, oil seeds, food and vegetables. During 1950’s and 1960’s rapid expansion of the Sugar Industry occurred in the southern and western parts of India in general and Deccan plateau in particular. It became necessary to establish an organization that will satisfy all the scientific and technical needs of the Sugar Industry. The P.R.Ramakrishna Committee (1967) and the Sugar Industry Enquiry Commission (1974) appointed by the Central Government of India recommended in its report about forming such an organization in Southern India. The co-operative sugar industry in the Maharashtra State took initiative and forged an alliance under the leadership of visionaries namely, Padmavibhushan Late Dr.Vasantdada Patil, Late Shri.Shankarrao Mohite-Patil, Late Shri.Vishwanath Anna Kore, Late Shri.Ratnappa Anna Kumbhar, Shri.Yeshwantrao J.Mohite and Shri.Shankarrao G.Kolhe and established Deccan Sugar Institute (DSI) on 19th November 1975, which was renamed in 1989 as the Vasantdada Sugar Institute (VSI).
Their vision led to the development of an organization that was to symbolize a unique partnership between the Sugar Industry, the scientific community and the sugarcane growers.