Ahmedabad: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday addressed a seminar of leaders of various cooperative institutions on ‘Sahakar Se Samriddhi’ at Mahatma Mandir, Gandhinagar.
Chief Minister of Gujarat Bhupendra Patel, Union Ministers Amit Shah, Mansukh Mandaviya, Members of Parliament, MLAs, Ministers from the Gujarat Government, and leaders of the cooperative sector were among those present on the occasion.
Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister welcomed thousands of farmers who gathered at the Mahatma Mandir. He said cooperation is a great medium for self-sufficiency of the village. It has the energy of AtmaNirbhar Bharat. He said Pujya Bapu and Patel showed us the way for bringing self-sufficiency to villages. Along those lines, today we are moving ahead on the path of developing a model cooperative village. Six villages in Gujarat have been chosen where all the cooperative-related activities would be implemented, he said.
After inaugurating the Nano Urea (Liquid) Plant at IFFCO, Kalol, he said that the power of a full sack of urea has come into a half-liter bottle, leading to huge savings in transportation and storage. The Plant will produce about 1.5 lakh bottles of 500 ml per day. He said that 8 more such plants will be established in the country in the coming days. “This will reduce foreign dependence with regard to urea and will save the country’s money. I am confident that this innovation will not remain confined to urea. In the future other nano fertilizers will be available to our farmers”, he said.
The Prime Minister informed that India is the second-largest consumer of urea in the world but only the third-largest producer. After the formation of the government in 2014, the government did 100 per cent neem coating of urea. This ensured that the farmers of the country got enough urea. Simultaneously, the work of restarting 5 closed fertilizer factories in UP, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, and Telangana was initiated. UP and Telangana factories have already started production, and the other three factories also will soon start working, he said.
Talking about the import dependence with regard to urea and phosphate and potash-based fertilizers, the Prime Minister dwelled on high prices and lack of availability in the global market due to the pandemic and war. He said that the sensitive government did not allow the problems to be passed on to the farmers and despite the difficult situation did not let any crisis of fertilizer take shape in India. A urea bag costing Rs 3500 is made available to the farmer for Rs 300 while the government bears Rs 3200 per bag.
Similarly on a bag of DAP, the government bears Rs 2500 as opposed to Rs 500 borne by the earlier governments. The Union Government gave a subsidy of Rs 1,60,000 crore last year, this year this subsidy is going to be more than Rs 2 lakh crore, the Prime Minister informed.
The Prime Minister promised to do whatever was necessary in the interest of the farmers of the country.
The Prime Minister said that in the last 8 years, the government has worked on both the immediate and long-term solutions to the problems being faced by the country. He cited solutions like improving health infrastructure to deal with any further pandemic shock, Mission Oil Palm to tackle edible oil problems, bio-fuel and hydrogen fuel to handle oil problems, natural farming, and nano-technology push are also results of this approach.
“The example of the cooperative model of the dairy sector is before us. Today India is the largest milk producer in the world among which Gujarat has a major share. The dairy sector is also growing rapidly in the last few years and is also contributing more to the rural economy. In Gujarat, milk-based industries were widely spread because the restrictions on the part of the government were minimal in this. The government plays the role of only a facilitator here.”
With the objective of promoting cooperatives into the market and to bring them on the same platform, a separate ministry for cooperatives was formed at the Centre. He added that efforts are being made to encourage a cooperative-based economic model in the country.