Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Radha Mohan Singh today said that cooperatives play a paramount role in creating employment opportunities in rural areas and cooperatives related to dairy have proved this while creating employment opportunities in plenty.
Inaugurating a conference of the 12th International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) – Asia Pacific Regional Assembly and 9th Cooperative Forum in New Delhi, Singh said that cooperatives have made themselves prominent in every walk of life and through the vast network of cooperatives about 100 million people have benefited with opportunities of employment throughout the world.
Welcoming over 250 foreign delegates coming from Asia Pacific region to participate in the conference and he expressed hope that the conference will prove a milestone to strengthen the cooperatives in Asia – Pacific Region.
“The Government of India has launched a number of schemes of paramount importance and cooperatives can play a vital role in implementing schemes such as Toilets in Schools, Jan Dhan Yojana, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana, Make in India, Soil Health Card because it has large network spread in the remotest areas as well as in villages,” the Minister said. He further said that government has put a strong thrust on the creation of employment opportunities related to skills. As nearly 65 percent population of the country is below 38. Keeping in view this sort of scenario the cooperatives can play a very important role in creating the opportunities of employment as well as access to rural areas.
Singh opined that ICA Asia Pacific Regional Assembly has sustained development for all, which is very much consistent with present perspective. This corresponds to the sustainable development agenda 2030 of the United Nations which has put a special thrust on reaching the target of sustainable development comprised of poverty abolition, health services, employment creation and check on climate change.
Speaking on the occasion, Union Minister of Railways Suresh Prabhu said that the cooperative model is the best model for socio-economic change based on people participation and this model should be popularised globally as the limitations of trickle down growth approach are quite apparent. He further said that Asian region is the game changer region in the times to come and here cooperatives with their strong sustainable character can play an important role in which the benefits of development can go to the people.
Li Chensheng President ICA-AP speaking on the occasion said that innovation, preserving cooperative values and strengthening their democratic character are the biggest challenges before the cooperative movement in Asia Pacific Region.
Chandrapal Singh, President NCUI highlighted the achievements of cooperative movement in India. He also said that the cooperative movement in Asia has become very strong with many achievements and the cooperative model here can be good example for cooperative movement in other regions to emulate.
There are more than 6 lakh cooperatives with 2491.20 million members and the cooperatives have made the cooperative movement as the largest movement in the world, said Singh. He also said that cooperatives sector imparts self employment to 17.80 million people and cooperatives related to fisheries, labour, handlooms and gender cooperatives have played very important role in bringing improvement in social economic condition of the weaker sections of the society.