The first ever ‘India International Cooperatives Trade Fair’ (IICTF) is going to be held at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi from 11 to 13 October, 2019. As 94 percent of total farmers in India are members of at least one cooperative institution, IICTF is aimed at furthering government’s vision and goal of doubling farmers’ income by promoting cooperative-to-cooperative trade within India and abroad and promoting exports of key agriculture commodities and products leading to enhanced rural and farm prosperity. IICTF also offers a huge opportunity for the industry and business houses from India and abroad to build alliances, business networking, product sourcing and above all, interacting with the primary producers of a wide range of products and service providers.
The event has already garnered an overwhelming response both nationally and internationally as more than 120 Indian cooperatives and 20 organisations from Centre, states and UTs as well as around 35 countries having purchased exhibition booths for participating in IICTF. International organisations from Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bhutan, Brazil, China, Columbia, Fiji, Germany, Iran, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Malaysia, Mauritius, Nepal, Nigeria, Philippines, Russia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Senegal, Thailand, Tanzania, United States of America, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates and Vietnam will be showcasing the products.
In line with government’s focus on programmes like Start-up India and Stand-up India aimed at young entrepreneurs with new and innovative ideas, National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) has formulated YuvaSahakar-Cooperative Enterprise Support and Innovation Scheme 2019 which will be launched at the fair. The scheme is liberal to cooperatives in the North Eastern region, cooperatives registered and operating in aspirational districts as identified by NITI Aayog, cooperatives with 100 percent women/SC/ST/ PwD members. SahakarBharati, the single largest organisation focusing to enlighten the masses about the benefit of cooperative movement also plans to showcase and launch ‘Simplydesi’ brand at the inaugural of the fair.
The cooperative sector has a formidable role in increasing agriculture exports from the present US$ 30 billion+ to US$ 60 billion+ by 2022 as envisaged in the Agriculture Exports Policy 2018. IICTF is conceived as a major platform to promote exports of Indian cooperative produce and is packed with exhibitions, B2B/C2C meetings, conferences, cultural programmes among other related activities. IICTF covers exhibitors, sellers and buyers from India and abroad focussing on sectors such as agriculture and its allied sectors’ complete value chains, cold chain, dairy, commodities, exports, technology, climate smart agriculture, food processing, packaging, storage, machinery, brand promotion, marketing, cooperative banking, agri-tech and various other sectors.
The fair is expected to evolve a conducive environment for cooperative trade in the global arena, help in expansion and diversification of business, technology transfer, help lay international quality benchmark for cooperative products and related activities. The fair is also likely to result in sharing of best practices, collaborations and partnerships. In the Indian context, the fair would help more cooperatives to foray into exports and bring to the fore the cooperative visibility and its strength as a viable business model.
As an integral part of the IICTF, thematic sessions on cooperatives business will be held on all the three days of the Fair. Nine sessions with cooperatives as the focus will cover various aspects such as Globalisation of Cooperative Trade; Cooperative banking and financial inclusion; Empowerment of youth and women through cooperatives; Agro processing eco-systems through cooperatives; Agri-tech and climate smart agriculture through cooperatives; Cooperatives as cost effective and efficient service providers; Big data and cyber security in cooperative sector; Dairy cooperatives-opportunities for value addition and trade; and farm mechanisation and inputs supply-role of cooperatives. The sessions would be chaired by eminent personalities and a panel of distinguished resource persons. The sessions would provide an insight on the role of agriculture cooperatives and their expected contribution in light of the Agriculture Export Policy of India. It would also provide a platform for cross learning particularly in the current scenario of digitisation.
The fair is jointly being organised by NCDC in association with the Bangkok based Network for the Development of Agricultural Cooperatives in Asia and the Pacific (NEDAC) and leading organisations in India such as NAFED, APEDA and ITPO with the support of ministries of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare; Commerce and Industry and External Affairs. Six state governments and UTs, namely, Telangana, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Puducherry, Meghalaya and Goa are partners of IICTF.