The Union Minister for Home and Cooperation, Shri Amit Shah today inaugurated the Eastern and North-Eastern Cooperative Dairy Conclave 2022 in Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim. In another event, Shri Amit Shah unveiled the statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel at Raj Bhavan in Gangtok. The Governor of Sikkim, Shri Ganga Prasad and Chief Minister of Sikkim, Shri Prem Singh Tamang and many other dignitaries were also present on the occasion.
Addressing the Eastern and North Eastern Region Dairy Cooperative Conference, the Union Home and Cooperation Minister said that 15 years ago in a Himalayan state, no one could have imagined that cooperative dairy conclaves from across the country could be held here. He said that milk production is the only way for women empowerment, poverty alleviation and doubling of farmer’s income and it gives great peace of mind and feeling of joy to see the production of two lakh litres of milk per day by small farmer brothers in Sikkim. Shri Shah said that the Ministry of Cooperation and the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) have planned a Multipurpose PACS in every Panchayat which will do the work of distribution of Dairy, FPO, Agriculture and Gas Production. Along with making arrangements for LPG distribution and it will provide arrangements for petrol pumps and storage and marketing where ever required. PACS will also work to connect the villages of the hill state like Sikkim with the whole world through PCOs in the village. He said that the Ministry of Cooperation has planned such multi-purpose and multi-dimensional PACS.
Shri Amit Shah said that since many years there was a huge demand in the country for eradication of poverty, empowerment of farmers, fishermen, handicraft artisans and lakhs- crores of tribals through cooperative sector and to fulfill it, the Ministry of Cooperation has been established. Shri Shah said that he would like to thank Prime Minister Narendra Modi for fulfilling the 70 years old demand of the cooperative movement of the country by setting up the Ministry of Cooperation. Shri Amit Shah said that cooperatives have a lot of potential and cooperative sector is a very strong pillar of the GDP of Gujarat. In Gujarat alone, 36 lakh women earn an annual income of Rs 56,000 crore through the Amul Federation. He said that our Sikkim state, which is called the Switzerland of the Northeast, should not be known only for its beauty, but by enriching every village, it has to be taken forward as a prosperous and developed state.
The Union Cooperation Minister said that for centuries, animal husbandry has played a very important role in the social and economic development of India and once upon a time, rivers of milk and ghee used to flow in our country. Earlier animal husbandry was a very important industry of our country but even after the independence, no one paid attention to it and gradually it ended. Shri Shah said that after the White Revolution, such a foundation is ready today, and the time has come to make dairy a medium of prosperity of the farmer and taking dairy to not just one state but every panchayat. He said that dairy is such an industry through which many objectives are fulfilled. Along with making dairy, arrangements are made for the nutrition of thousands of crores of children. Shri Shah said that our per capita milk production in the world is still not satisfactory and unless it is increased, there will be nutritional problem in such a large country. Dairy solves the problem of nutrition because when a cheque arrives in the hands of a woman who sells her milk in the dairy while engaging in animal husbandry, then the family becomes prosperous and poverty is also removed. He asked the NGOs working for malnutrition, women’s empowerment and the poor to focus on dairy because there can be no greater mean for women empowerment than dairy.
The Union Home and Cooperation Minister said that the gas produced from dairy helps the environment, cow dung helps in natural farming and natural farming improves human health. He said that the dairy system should be cooperative because if it is private, women will get only a few rupees, also in the cooperative system the profit earned will be directly deposited in the bank account of the woman. Shri Shah said that in the cooperative system, the livestock owners do not even need a doctor to handle their livestock. Along with this, there is also all kinds of arrangements like nutritious food, maintenance, health and vaccination for the animals. He said that whether it is a cow or a buffalo, the cooperative will bear the concern for entire maintenance and that is why the Government of India under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has decided that in the next 5 years every Panchayat of the country will have PACS and a dairy. He said that the biggest benefit of this is going to be for the eastern and northeastern regions of the country as the least number of PACS are registered here. If one multipurpose PAC is opened in every panchayat in Northeast which will also have dairy, then no one can stop the prosperity of East and Northeast India.
The Union Cooperation Minister said that we have to understand the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and challenges of our dairy sector very well. Our strength is small landless farmers who still keep one to three cattle. There is no shortage of water in many states, including the Northeast. Grass is also easily available here and the government has worked to increase it further. He said that today we have a target to increase the number of two crore cattle rearers of the country to seven crores and to include them within the chain of cooperatives. If we are successful in achieving this goal then both women empowerment and poverty alleviation will get necessary boost. Shri Shah said that along with strength, we also have to see our weakness. The Government of India is committed to the promotion and propagation of good breeds of animals so that we can overcome this weakness of ours. He said that our second weakness in this sector is that almost 70% of the milk goes to the market in an unorganized way, due to which the farmer does not get its fair price. It is a weakness as well as a challenge that we should bring down the quantity of this 70% milk going into the market unorganized to 20. The Ministry of Cooperation has also set a target to tackle this challenge.
Shri Amit Shah said that today we have a huge opportunity in this field. There is a market of 130 crore in India. In our neighboring countries, milk products come from Switzerland, the Netherlands and Australia which have very high transportation costs. We have huge opportunity to deliver milk to countries like Bhutan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. To explore this world market, the government is setting up a multi-state cooperative, which will act as an export house. It will work to export the milk product of our cooperative dairy in the world and bring profit to the farmer. He said that the domestic dairy market of Rs 13 lakh crore is also a big opportunity in front of us. The government is committed to increase this market from 13 lakh crore to 30 lakh crore by 2027. Shri Amit Shah said that the Government of India has formulated several animal husbandry schemes and in the last 7 years the budget of Rs. 2000 crore has been increased to Rs.6000 crore.
Shri Amit Shah said that the real development of North East has started only after Shri Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has started developing the North East with a holistic approach. The Union Cooperation Minister said that Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi the government of India will cross the expenditure incurred after Independence in the entire North East if compared to the expenditure incurred in the last 10 years. Under the leadership of Shri Modi, airports, rail links, new national highway networks, irrigation systems and new industries have been set up in every state of the Northeast. Shri Modi calls the North East as Ashtalakshmi. Shri Shah said that we have to move forward in such a way that these eight States become the States that create eight types of capital.