New Delhi: Farm and allied sector cooperatives have a huge potential to play a key role in making India a USD 5 trillion economy in next five years, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said on Friday.
However, the cooperatives need a push to compete in the global market, he said at the inauguration of the first ever three-day India International Cooperatives Trade Fair here.
The minister also launched startup scheme 'Yuva Sahakar' and NGO Sahakar Bharti's 'Simply Desi' brand to promote products manufactured by cooperatives.
"The prime minister has given a target of achieving USD 5 trillion economy. We can achieve this if we focus on "Gaon, Gharib and Kisan (villages, poor and farmers). And cooperatives have potential and can play a big role in achieving this target," Tomar said.
The cooperative culture is not new to India and there is a need to strengthen and enable them to compete in the global market, he said.
Some cooperatives like IFFCO and Amul have been able to operate on a large scale in the country as well as compete at global level. But there is potential and opportunity for other cooperatives to rise, he added.
The minister said promotion of farm cooperatives can help in doubling farmers' income as well as boost agri-export from the current USD 30 billion to USD 60 billion in next five years.
Stating that the central government resources are not sufficient to promote cooperatives, Tomar said state governments need to give thrust and support them. Cooperatives should not just limit to lending and running ration shops, he said.
The international cooperative trade fair provides an opportunity to over 120 participating cooperative units to learn branding, marketing as well as cooperative business model of other countries, he added.
The trade fair is being organised by National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) in association with Bangkok-based international organisation NEDAC and India's cooperatives like Nafed with support of agriculture, commerce and external affairs ministries.
Ministers of State for Agriculture Purushottam Rupala and Kailash Choudhary, Meghalaya Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong, Uttarkhand Cooperative Minister Dhan Singh Rawat, Agriculture Secretary Sanjay Agarwal and NCDC Managing Director Sundeep Kumar Nayak were also present at the event.