Prime Minister Narendra Modi emphasised that the cooperative model was a viable economic alternative to the capitalist and socialist models.
Modi said “It fills me with pride that it is the result of farmers’ cooperative movement of over seven decades that Amul has become an identity, inspiration and necessity in the country,” and informed about the active contribution of India’s first home minister Vallabhbhai Patel who showed the importance of the cooperative movement as an economic model. Mr Patel was also a founder of the Amul dairy cooperative movement in Gujarat.
Mr Modi appreciated the progress achieved by the Amul and said that it had become “an alternative economic model”.
It holds two models, one was a socialist economic model, and other was the capitalistic model which had been an inspiration for the world.
Mr Modi said Sardar Patel founded a third economic model which was bred with the cooperation of farmers and people and everybody was a part of it. It was neither administered by government nor capitalists and one of the viable alternative to socialism and capitalism.
Mr Modi was addressing the gathering after inaugurating and laying the foundation stone of various projects in Gujarat.
He said that Amul was established year before Independence but cooperative movements began much before it.
Mr Modi shared information about Sardar Patel and said that he introduced the concept of urban development planning when he became chairman of the then Ahmedabad Municipality, for the first time in Gujarat.
Mr Patel initiated the first experiment of building a cooperative housing society to provide houses to people from the middle-income group. The first housing society was formed in Ahmedabad under the guidance of Mr Patel.
“Sardar saheb inaugurated it on January 28, 1927, and said it was a new model of development. Since he wanted people to remember this, the place was named Pritam Nagar (after Pritam Rai Desai),” he added.
Modi shared that he had been promoting the use of camel milk because of its nutritional benefits but was mocked, cartoons and derogatory comments were made but today camel milk had doubled and even Amul covers a huge market.
Mr Modi asked Amul to settle itself and rank India as the third largest milk processor in the world before it completes 75 years of its existence.
Mr Modi said that value addition to agriculture products would end up the farmers’ problem of crop abundance and a decline in the crop price.
He said “We have to give emphasis on value addition to agricultural products, and we are working in that direction. Like milk processing, we have to go in a big way for food processing,” adding that leaders of the cooperative movement minimised the scarcity faced by farmers.
The situation has been improved and milk cooperatives are functioning in every district to provide opportunities to farmers.
Mr Modi praised 11 farmers of Mujkuwa village for stepping towards the solar energy cooperative society and urged other farmers to generate solar power for additional income.
He even advised them to use similar cooperative movements such as cow dung for creating wealth and called it “gobar dhan (cow dung wealth)”.
Mr Modi shared that malnutrition could be ended through a healthy mother, if a mother was health then a child would remain healthy and said “If people here take the initiative, it will serve as a model for the country. There is a culture of cooperative in our thinking here. We need to take it forward and think how we can take it forward in many other areas,”
Mr Modi inaugurated Rs 533-crore premium chocolate plant of Amul, a nutritional food plant and a Rs 20 crore ice cream plant of the Vidya Dairy. He laid a foundation of Amul’s milk processing, packaging and butter-making plants and even launched a Rs 1.44 crore solar cooperative society of Mujkuwa village constructed with the help of Anand-based National Dairy Development Board (NDDB)
Mr Modi targeted Congress and called it hurdle in the pavement of development.