Union Home and Cooperation Minister Amit Shah said on Sunday that the cooperative sector has the potential to transform India into a US$5 trillion economy and will also prove crucial in making the agriculture sector self-reliant. He also stressed the need to implement the cooperative model behind the success of the giant milk company “Amol” to advance agriculture and its related sectors.
“As we see today, Lal Bahadur Shastri’s dream of the White Revolution is coming true. But it is time to see beyond this (milk manufacturing). We need to apply this collaborative model to scale up sectors like agriculture and animal husbandry.”
“The cooperative model will be crucial in making agriculture ‘atmanirbar’ (self-reliant),” he said. Shah was speaking at an event organized here marking the completion of 75 years of Amul, which began in 1946 as a cooperative movement in Anand under the guidance of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and cooperative leader Tribhuvandas Patel, founder of Kheda District Milk Producers Cooperative, popularly known as Amul Dairy.
At present, Amul Dairy, along with 17 other co-operatives in the region, is part of the overall body of the Gujarat Milk Marketing Co-operative, which sells its own dairy products under the trade name “Amul”. There are about 36 lakh farming families in Gujarat associated with Amul.
“Don’t limit yourself to 36 lakh. Today, many farmers have switched to organic farming, but they don’t have any platform to sell organic farm produce in India and the world. Can cooperative organizations like Amul help them do that? It’s time to reflect on these lines,” he said. Shah that this will also increase the income of farmers.
“Research has not been done in a timely manner on the seeds. Can the cooperative sector eat it? The sector should also take on the task of developing new vegetable varieties. This will ensure that the profits reach the farmers and not the private companies. It will also contribute to the doubling of the farmers’ income.”
Expressing confidence that the cooperative movement will play an important role in making India a US$5 trillion economy, Shah said, “Even Prime Minister Narendra Modi firmly believes that the cooperative sector will be crucial to making India an ‘atmanirbar’.” Shah also appreciated Amol. its role in empowering women.
He told the audience that sales of Amul reached Rs 53,000 crore in 2020-21. Amul started its journey by collecting 200 liters of milk in 1946. Today, 3 cr liter of milk is processed daily with the help of around 18,000 cooperatives across Gujarat. Shah added that 18 district-level dairy factories and 87 milk factories are linked to Amol.
He also said that the Ministry of Cooperation established in July this year under the slogan “Sahkar Se Samriddhi” was in the process of preparing a charter for the ministry, and recalled the cooperative movement initiated by Sardar Patel and Tribhuvandas Patel, which led to the creation of Amul, Shah said, without giving any context Specific, “The purpose of the movement is to find a solution to a problem, not to aggravate it.” On this occasion, Shah launched the ‘Dairy Sahakar’ scheme, at a cost of Rs 5,000 crore, whereby the dairy sector will get loans through the National Corporation for Cooperative Development.
To celebrate Amul’s 75th anniversary, Shah issued a postage stamp, launching the Amul brand of organic fertilizers and granting progressive farmers. The minister also inaugurated a veterinary nutritional supplement factory and a cheese storage facility in Gujarat.
After his speech, Shah visited the headquarters of Amul Dairy and then held a meeting with senior officials of GCMMF, the state government and leaders of the cooperative sector there.