The Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar today stated that it was the vision of Sardar Patel that farmers should be strengthened through cooperatives across the nation and asserted that while agriculture is the backbone of India, the cooperative movement is the soul of India. Shri Tomar said this while jointly addressing a Curtain Raiser event along with Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Railways, Shri Piyush Goyalto announce the India International Cooperatives Trade Fair (IICTF) which will be held at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi in October 2019.Shri Tomar said the fair will provide a good opportunity for cooperatives to showcase their products to a wider audience. The Minister of State for Agriculture, Shri Kailash Choudhary, Secretary Agriculture, Sanjay Agarwal and other senior officials of Ministry of Agriculture Farmers’ Welfarewere also present on the occasion.Speaking on the occasion, Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Railways Shri Piyush Goyal said the government is committed for the betterment of the farmers of the country and synergy between Commerce and Agriculture creates manifold opportunities for value added exports. Shri Goyal also informed that tribal cooperatives will be provided special concessions in the Trade Fair. Shri Goyal underlined the need to make farmers and agriculture-based industries self-reliant. He said that in the three consultations held with the Minister of Agriculture & Farmers' Welfare, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar, after the formation of this Government, both Ministries have committed to establish a framework to double farm exports from Rs 2.75 lakh crore to about Rs. 7 lakh crore by 2024-2025.
Piyush Goyal also announced that a Cooperative Sector Export Promotion Forum will be established as an exchange platform for the cooperatives in India.A Large number of Indian Cooperatives and International Cooperative organisations are expected to participate in the three day event which will be held from 11th till 13th October 2019.The Cooperative sector has a big role to play in Doubling Agricultural exports from the present 30 billion dollars to 60 billion US dollars by 2022. The initiative is a part of the Agriculture Export Policy 2018 which aims at doubling the agriculture export and integrating Indian farmers and agriculture products with global value chains.The Trade Fair is aimed at promoting cooperative to cooperative trade within the country and abroad leading to enhanced rural and farm prosperity. The fair offers a huge opportunity for the industry and business houses from India and abroad to build alliances, product sourcing and interact with the primary producers of a wide range of products and service providers.The Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers' Welfare, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar along with Union Commerce & Industry Minister Shri Piyush Goyal and Minister of State for Agriculture, Shri Kailash Choudhary also unveiled the logo and released the brochure of IICTF to be held from 11-13 October 2019 in New Delhi.