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Cooperative model best suited for development of India: Amit Shah

Union Home and Cooperation Minister Amit Shah on Sunday described the cooperative model as the best suited model to achieve an all-encompassing and inclusive development in a huge country like India with a population of 130 crore.

Mr. Shah said the cooperative model had the capacity to bring prosperity for all and there was a need to increase the number of successful cooperative models like the Amul dairy cooperatives and bring them under one umbrella.

He said this while inaugurating a milk powder factory, a poly film manufacturing plant and other projects of the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) set up with an investment of ₹415 crore at Gandhinagar; the Union Minister’s parliamentary constituency.

“It is a very difficult job to take development to all and get everyone to participate in the process of development in a country with a population of 130 crore,” Mr. Shah said, adding many pundits failed to figure out which economic model would fit the requirements of this country in the past after Independence.

Mr. Shah credited Prime Minister Narendra Modi with recognising the Amul model as the best suited for economic development in villages. “Seventy-five years after the country saw many governments, the country’s Prime Minister tested the model and realised as the then Chief Minister of Gujarat, that if there is any economic model for an all-encompassing, all-inclusive economic development of a country of 130 crore population, then that is only the cooperative.”

Organic farming

Mr. Shah asked the management of Amul to work out a similar model for organic farming to encourage more farmers to adopt the practice, as overuse of fertilizers were causing soil degradation and diseases like cancer. He added that Amul should ask its farmers to adopt natural and organic farm practices and promised support from the Centre.

Calling the Amul model the most successful model for women empowerment, he suggested that the NGOs working for women empowerment instead run women cooperative societies to achieve empowerment of rural women.

“Amul is an example of what 36 lakh women dairy farmers can achieve if they work together with transparency,” he said.

According to a press statement issued by the GCMMF, the new milk powder plant set up at AmulFed Dairy, a unit of the GCMMF, is Asia’s largest fully automated dairy with a milk handling capacity of 50 lakh litres per day.

The GCMMF is the largest dairy cooperative network in India with its 18 district-level member unions, 18,563 village-level dairy cooperative societies and 36 lakh farmer members in Gujarat.

Together, the GCMMF group — which sells its dairy products under the brand name of Amul with an annual turnover of more than ₹50,000 crore — has 87 dairy manufacturing plants with a handling capacity of 39 million litres of milk per day.

Besides its extensive network in Gujarat, the group also sources milk from 13 other States across the country.

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