Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday asked cooperatives to venture into new business areas like beekeeping and seaweed farming to boost rural economy.
Addressing the birth centenary of Maharashtra-based cooperative leader Laxman Madhav Rao Inamdar, the Prime Minister said: “It is natural for the cooperative sector to grow and shine in India. There are several sectors where the cooperative sector can help make a positive difference.”
PM Modi also emphasised that the ‘cooperative spirit’ should be kept alive and strengthened so that farmers’ income can be doubled by 2022.
“See what best practices to adopt and give up the old ones and move ahead,” he said, while asserting that rural India should not be left behind in the growth path.
Stating that farmers are facing many problems, Modi said there is a need to establish a system to ensure farmers buy and sell at wholesale rates.
Farmers associated with dairy cooperatives have grown as they buy and sell milk at wholesale rates, Modi said adding that farmers would not have earned more had they sold their produce to private firms.
There is a need to build such cooperatives to ensure better income to farmers, he added.
He observed that cooperatives are mainly present in sugar and dairy sectors and urged farmers to foray into new areas.
He also gave examples of sectors in which cooperatives can help farmers in raising additional income by contributing to different sectors.
The Prime Minister also asked cooperatives to self-reflect whether the “cooperative spirit” has got lost in its legal structure. It is important to keep the spirit intact, he added.
“The first success mantra of cooperative is that the leader works behind the scene taking everyone along,” said the Prime Minister in praise of Inamdar.
The Prime Minister also released two books on Inamdar and other nine important leaders of cooperataive movement. He also gave momentos to seven cooperatives for excellent work.
(With inputs from PTI)