The apex body of co-operatives in the country National Cooperative Union of India held its AGM at its headquarters in Delhi with the President of the apex body giving a clarion call to small and marginal farmers to unite into co-operatives.
It has been seen that the suicide rate is less in areas where the co-op movement is strong, said the President stressing the need of spreading the co-op network in the hitherto untouched areas of the country. Chandra Pal also felt that co-op is the answer to the problem of landholdings getting smaller and smaller in the country.
“Today 85 per cent farmers have lands in the range of 1-1.5 hectares. According to a study, the figures are projected to go up to 91 per cent by 2030. These farmers cannot afford to buy expensive technologies or find a suitable market on their own. Once they unite in a co-op, they achieve a scale and can bargain at all stages of their enterprises”, said Chandra Pal.
Tracing the 114 years old history of co-operative in the country, the NCUI President said it has achieved a lot. He named several revolutions-green, white, blue and yellow to buttress his claim. “But alas! Co-ops do not figure in the govt scheme of themes”, he lamented.
The NCUI President also called for revision of co-op policy in the country and make it attuned to the changing times. ”We as cooperative also need to have a useful media policy so that the good works done by co-operatives become part of everyday reporting”, he added.
In his presidential speech, Yadav touched upon several other issues including women empowerment through co-operative, need to get today’s youths onboard and co-op’s role in achieving double income as envisioned by the Prime Minister.
He also painfully touched on the issue of NCCT delink and said co-op training is the soul of NCUI. “I would not say much as the matter is sub-judice and we are confident of getting back NCCT with us”, he added.
Enlisting the works done by NCUI this year, Yadav said the number of training programmes jumped to 165 from that of 75 of the last year as NCUI trained about 5800 cooperators- about 2000 women cooperators alone were trained in this period, he added. NCUI also signed several MoUs with educational institutes to start co-op education on campuses, he underlined.
Some of the delegates also spoke on the occasion. While Surekha Khot insisted on greater women representation on the NCUI Board, Ashok Dabas batted for out of court resolution of the NCCT delink. If Ramesh Chaubey of Bihar State Co-op Bank wanted the Baidyanathan Committee’s award of Rs 25 crore be given to co-op banks, Krishna Reddy of Sauharda Co-op Federation rued the fact that despite the existence of 7 lakh co-ops in the country, it has yet to find its voice in the govt corridors. There were about 250 delegates who had come from various parts of the country.
The dais of NCUI auditorium was bristling with co-op leaders on the occasion. Besides the Governing Council members, there were some special guests including Gujarat’s Narhari Amin and Bihar’s Sunil Kumar Singh. G H Amin, Vice-President proposed a vote of thanks and invited delegates for lunch.