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India agritech measures and launch of Cooptube NCDC Channel

Image credit: pib.gov.in

Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare Shri Narendra Singh Tomar today launched the Sahakar Cooptube National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) Channel.

The channel is a new initiative by National Cooperative Development Corporation and is designed to help operationalising different aspects of Atma Nirbhar Bharat (Self-reliant India).

A series of guidance videos produced by NCDC on ‘Formation and Registration of A Cooperative’ for eighteen different states in Hindi and regional languages was simultaneously launched.

More states would be added to the collection of guidance videos on NCDC Sahakar Cooptube Channel in due course of time.

Formation of new cooperatives is a prerequisite for bringing new life and dedication in the realm of cooperative movement.

The guidance videos in different languages covering 18 States would also strengthen and deepen the major initiatives of the government to promote and form 10,000 FPOs.

Cooperatives have a major role in the country in boosting the Indian economy for decades. Largely as association of small and marginal farmers and rural poor, the cooperatives have acquired a huge network of over 8.50 lakh organizations and 290 million members.

They have come a long way and have proven their success in improving the condition of farmers and overall economic development.

Almost 55% of India’s population depends on agriculture as its primary source of revenue. India is expected to achieve the ambitious goal of doubling farm income by 2022.

The agriculture sector in India is expected to generate better momentum in the next few years due to increased investments in agricultural infrastructure ad agritech.

India accounts for more than 450+ start-ups in the agritech space, which translates that every 9th agritech startup in the world is an Indian one.

The Indian government has recently announced a series of transformative measures and sector specific financial packages to help agriculture.

NCDC has achieved tremendous success with cumulative financial assistance to cooperatives to the tune of Rs.1,54,000 crore (US$ 23.5 billion). NCDC disbursed around Rs.28,000 crore (US$ 4.3 billion) during 2019-20 and has made unprecedented progress in the last six years.

All these initiatives are steps towards One Nation One Market with the objective for India to become food factory of the world.

The gamut of exhaustive reforms and measures are intended to strengthen all activities and services in agriculture, horticulture and allied sectors.

The strengthening of these sectors will be through creation and development of agriculture infrastructure, micro food enterprises, value chains and logistics for fishery and animal husbandry, medicinal and herbal plants, bee keeping and Operation Green.

Significant legislative amendments have been made to create conducive environment for agriculture as well as provisions for It and tech related advancements.

The Government of India planning Rs 2,000 crore (US$ 306.29 million) for computerisation of Primary Agricultural Credit Society (PACS) to ensure cooperatives are benefitted through digital technology.

Early in July the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) announced a Rs 5,000 crore (US$ 765 million) grant-based scheme for computerisation of 35,000 Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS) by FY23. Under the scheme, assistance will be released to state governments which will also have to contribute a matching grant for disbursement to the PACS.

As many as 40% of 12.5 crore small and marginal farmers depend on PACS to get short-term loans. Not only computerisation, the scheme also will ensure integration of these PACS with the Core Banking System (CBS) of District Central Co-operative Banks (DCCBs) to ensure seamless flow of credit.

Apart from the financial and technological input, the minister said that a key strategy in the ecosystem is to facilitate involvement of youth in cooperatives.

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