Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Radha Mohan Singh inaugurated the Inter-state Cooperative Investment Summit & Exhibitionin Dehradun, Uttarakhand today. Speaking on the occasion, the Minister said that women rub shoulders with other family members and work hard to provide a better life to their families. These women can strengthen their economic status through cooperatives in the small industry sector such as forestry, vegetable and fruit farming and solar energy.Talking about the role of cooperatives in the development of Uttarakhand, Shri Radha Mohan Singh said that he was happy to learn that the State’s cooperative department has selected cooperative entrepreneurship as a medium to boost entrepreneurship in the state and organised the exhibition. He also said that cooperatives are not new to our country and that the cooperative movement had first started in a village in Gujarat and the movement led to the enactment of Cooperative Credit Societies Act, 1904.
Radha Mohan Singh said that it is important to implement Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana in Uttarakhand through cooperative societies and help affected farmers because the state’s agriculture sector is totally dependent upon monsoon. The Minister pointed out that the Government has taken concrete steps for the revival of cooperative societies to transform them into a dynamic, democratic organisation, so that they can face the challenges of a competitive global economy. He further said that considering the importance of cooperative societies in improving rural economy, the Government is committed to boosting cooperative societies through various programmes. Shri Singh also congratulated the representatives of cooperative societies representing various States for their appreciable contribution in the cooperative sector and said that he hoped to continue the trend of such programmes being organised in other parts of the country.
Modern cooperatives have attained a comprehensive shape during the 112-year journey. Indian cooperative movement is one of the biggest cooperative movements in the world. There are 8 lakh cooperative societies in India, which includes the cooperative organisation at the village and national levels. The membership of cooperative societies in the country is more than 274 million and it includes 95% villages and 71% rural families.The participation of Uttarakhand in cooperative societies is appreciable. There are 4, 381 societies in the state, which are associated with various professions. As many as 759 packs are operational and their membership is 12 lakh and it is also appreciable that hundred percent villages are covered under these packs.Uttarakhand can develop tourism, transport, handloom, fruits and vegetable farming, cultivation of medicinal plants, flower farming etc. through cooperatives. There is a huge market for these commodities not only in India, but abroad as well.