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Cooperative movement way of life, not just business or credit lending activity: LG

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Asks cooperatives in J&K to focus on agri-marketing, food processing, branding, seed supply, and innovative activities in dairy, handicrafts

Jammu: Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha Sunday said the cooperative movement was a way of life, and not just a business or credit lending activity even as he asked the cooperatives in J&K to focus on agri-marketing, food processing, branding, seed supply, and innovative activities in dairy and handicrafts, an official press release informed.

Inaugurating the 68th All India Cooperative Week across the J&K UT at the Teacher Bhavan, Jammu, Sinha extended his best wishes to all the members of cooperative societies, farmer-producer organisations, and all those involved in the modernization of super-bazars of the cooperatives.

Expressing gratitude towards Prime Minister, the LG said that it is under the guidance of PM Narendra Modi and Home & Cooperation Minister Amit Shah that the country is witnessing “renaissance in cooperative movement to address the developmental needs of underprivileged sections of the society.”

“We are determined to deepen the cooperative movement as a people-based movement to reach citizens at the grassroots. The J&K administration is making efforts to facilitate development of new women and youth cooperatives and provide them with a solid support system to flourish,” he added.

According to the press release, the LG said that the government aims to increase the number of Primary Agriculture Cooperative Societies by providing much-needed support to the people in every Panchayat. “This will substantially increase the credit lending in agri & allied sectors and benefits will also flow to small and marginal farmers,” he added.

The LG stressed that in order to truly realize the Prime Minister’s vision of ‘Sahkar se Samriddhi’, Cooperatives in J&K UT must focus on agri-marketing, food processing, branding, supply of seeds and other innovative activities in dairy and handicrafts.

The LG also underscored that Mission Youth in J&K is working as a “cooperative entrepreneurship organisation and demonstrating how business with cooperative spirit can lead the way to tackle the modern challenges.”

“Cooperative movement is not just about business or credit lending. It is our way of life. Every person has to work together for the same goal – a prosperous, peaceful and ‘Aatm-nirbhar’ Jammu Kashmir UT. We must work together to protect and promote social and economic rights of every individual,” he added.

The LG impressed upon all the stakeholders to take necessary steps via cooperative institutions in making all Panchayats of the UT prosperous and creating village infrastructure, so that by taking inspiration from the past, we can build a prosperous future.

“I believe that cooperative is the most credible medium of socio-economic development of farmers, rural population, unorganized sector workers, women, and we need to assess its creative, transformative potential in various fields, to meet the needs of rural and other areas. Accordingly, institutions have to be developed and wherever old institutions are inactive, efforts will have to be made to revive them,” he added.

Terming Panchayats and Cooperatives as two sides of the same coin, the LG said that if Panchayat represents grassroots democracy and administrative system, then the cooperatives strengthen their self-reliance, competence and autonomy in at least 20 sectors of the rural system like cottage industries, agriculture and  allied activities by raising its economic side. At the same time it protects the interests of the deprived sections, he added.

The LG gave examples of IFFCO which is supplying Nano Liquid Urea to the farmers of Jammu and Kashmir; Amul, world-renowned milk producers cooperative and Krishak Bharti Co-Operative Limited (KRIBHCO) as successful cooperatives which have secured place in the top 10 cooperative institutions all over the world.

The LG also mentioned about National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Limited (NAFED), “which is the vehicle of development revolution not only in J&K but also in other parts of the country.”

All these institutions have been considered as a symbol of awakening of self-reliance in a very large section of the society for years. There has been a positive change in the lives of lakhs and crores of families because of these cooperatives, he added.

Speaking on the impact of Self Help Groups, the LG said that in our UT, more than 52,000 self-help groups are changing the lives of 4.5 lakh women. “This year we have resolved that 11,000 new self-help groups will be formed so that their potential gets its due place in the economy and development. With the help of cooperatives, we can give new impetus to entrepreneurial women’s organizations,” the LG added.

He said that along with transparent system, election, accountability, now all cooperative institutions will also have to make efforts to become profitable. “We also have to work on making the cooperative sector more organized in terms of production and value addition so that its products can compete not only in the country but also in global markets,” he added.

On the e-Inauguration of an awareness and training program of Fisheries department, the LG said that there are many such schemes that have the potential to change the socio-economic status of communities and the benefits of those schemes should reach the grassroots. He directed the concerned heads of departments for sensitizing their officials to work in this direction with determination.

“Under the leadership of Home and Cooperation Minister Amit Shah, financial assistance of up to Rs.3 crore is being provided to the newly formed cooperatives, especially to the innovative organizations through ‘Yuva Sahakar – Cooperative Enterprise Support and Innovation Scheme’. Apart from this, if the institutions want to expand, then the Central government and NABARD are also cooperating,” the LG observed.

The LG gave the mantra of “Quality, Service and Value” to cooperatives and said that it will definitely protect the interests of the weakest section of the people.

Meanwhile, the LG also handed over Registration certificates to newly registered FPOs/Cooperatives. He also handed over a cheque of Rs 5 lakh to Cooperative School of Education and Research Institute, besides facilitating prominent stakeholders of cooperative movement in the UT.

Earlier, in her address, Yasha Mudgul, Secretary, J&K Cooperatives department, gave a detailed overview of the cooperative movement in J&K. Besides the current status, she also briefed about the prospective initiatives including the registration of Farmer-Producer Organizations (FPOs) as  cooperatives.

Initially, with the registration of 20 FPO cooperatives, 6000 individuals would get benefitted out of the scheme and the number would keep on rising with the registration of more and more FPOs, she informed.

Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar and Farooq Khan, Advisors to the LG;  Dr Arun Kumar Mehta, Chief Secretary; BK Singh, Secretary School Education; Mandeep Kaur, Commissioner/Secretary, Planning, Development and Monitoring Department; Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, Administrative Secretary, Tribal Affairs Department; Raghav Langer , Divisional Commissioner Jammu; Doifode Sagar Dattatray, Director Animal Husbandry, Jammu besides other senior officers and large number of members of various cooperatives and FPOs were present on the occasion.

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