Lead farmers the organic way, Shah tells Amul, inaugurates new facilities

November 29, 2021

Union Cooperative Minister Amit Shah on Sunday called upon cooperative giant Amul to take an initiative for the marketing, distribution and testing of organic/natural farm products in the country.

Shah made a request to the board of directors of Amul in this regard, calling it necessary to deal with the harmful effects of fertiliser-based farming, while addressing a gathering after inaugurating four new facilities of AmulFed Dairy in Gandhinagar.

The facilities, including a milk powder factory, a butter plant, a robotic high-tech warehousing facility and poly film manufacturing plant, have come up at a cost of Rs 415 crore. AmulFed Dairy is a part of Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), the apex state-level marketing federation for daily cooperatives in Gujarat, which markets dairy products under the Amul brand.

“There is a big problem in the country; due to fertilisers, our land is getting degraded. Productivity is decreasing and fertiliser also degrades the body. It is causing cancer and many other diseases… farmers of the country will have to go in the direction of organic farming. Organic farm products save body and people,” Shah said.

Shah said that many farmers are understanding the need of organic/natural farming and have already started doing it. “The biggest problem is that they are not getting appropriate rates for their products. The rates of organic wheat are same as that of fertiliser-based wheat. They can get three-times more rates in the country and at international level, but there is no facility of market. I know that it is a difficult task…But someone has to do the difficult task someday,” he added.

Pointing out the need to develop a marketing chain for organic products, creating infrastructure for marketing and developing testing facility, Shah said, “If you do this, then the demand will go up… There is a demand for trustworthy organic edible products across the world. Nobody wants cancer or other ailments. It is proven that due to fertilisers, our body has become home to many diseases.”

Hailing Amul’s efforts in bringing women’s empowerment, Shah said that those running NGOs in the name of women’s empowerment should rather run a cooperative society to better achieve the goal. He added that without Amul, it was impossible to meet with the milk requirement of the country.

Shah said that more than two lakh farmers in Gujarat have started doing organic farming and are getting good results with increased productivity and requirement of less water. He also expressed confidence that Amul can venture into new fields.

The minister said that at a meeting, the board of directors of Amul had shown him a presentation on initiatives to help organic farm products. “There is a need to invest money in this. If you want to invest money in it then come with a scheme and we will all go to the Prime Minister. The Union government will certainly help,” Shah said.

The number of such farmers can flourish from two lakh to five lakh to 10 lakh just like members of Amul, he said.

“It is my insistence and request to Amul’s board of directors that you take the initiative for distribution of organic products and for establishing laboratories for the same. You have infrastructure ready and you are connected with villages and farmers. Farmers will come out with organic products, it just requires marketing facility in which you have got expertise,” Shah said.

Shah also hailed cooperative sector as the model of economic development that was found to be ideal model for the all-inclusive and all-encompassing development of vastly populous country like India. He added that PM Modi had tested and realised during his days as Chief Minister of Gujarat that only cooperative can provide all inclusive and all encompassing model of economic development to India.

“Because of that, PM Modi has started (new) cooperative department in the Union government,” he said.

The event was also attended by Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel, Agriculture Minister Raghavji Patel and senior office bearers of GCMMF among others.

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