Calling the milk cooperative sector as the secret of Gujarat’s prosperity, he said there was a need to replicate this model across the country.
Shah urged the National Cooperative Dairy Federation of India (NCDFI) to explore the possibility of increasing milk production in states such as Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Bihar and make India more competitive in dairy export by increasing production and reducing price.
The Union Home and Cooperation Minister was addressing the golden jubilee function of Anand-based NCDFI – the apex organisation for cooperative dairy sector – in state capital Gandhinagar.
“There are still many regions with good availability of water and fertile land, which do not contribute much to the country’s total milk production. Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, and Bihar – there are still a lot of possibilities that remain to be harnessed,” he said. The NCDFI should explore possibilities with the help of the governments in these states. After raising milk production by unlocking the possibilities in untapped states, the federation should also look at increasing exports of milk and dairy products at competitive rates, he said.
“We should bring down the milk production costs and increase the export of milk and dairy products,” Shah said. At the same time, the NCDFI should work to help dairy farmers increase their income by helping them develop alternative sources through honey production and natural farming, he added.
Shah said that the dairy cooperative sector, founded by Tribhuvandas Patel (the founder of Amul cooperative movement) and promoted by Dr Verghese Kurien, is the secret of Gujarat’s prosperity.
“I want this to be replicated in all the states,” he said.
He reiterated the need to promote natural farming so that India becomes capable of fulfilling the need of organic farming demand of the world and rejuvenate its economy.
He said his ministry is working on ‘Rashtriya Sahakari Data Bank, under which all the cooperatives in the country will be streamlined.
Shah inaugurated the headquarters of Gujarat State Co-operative Marketing Federation Ltd. (GUJCOMASOL), the apex cooperative marketing federation engaged in agro input business, at state capital Gandhinagar. He also inaugurated the “model cooperative village” programme of NABARD and GSC Bank, in his Lok Sabha constituency of Gandhinagar.