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27th February 2024 (9 Topics)

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a large-scale grain storage plan in the cooperative sector, aiming to almost double the country's existing storage capacity, emphasizing the government's focus on cooperatives in agriculture.

Launch of Grain Storage Plan

  • About: The plan is said to be the world's largest grain storage plan in the cooperative sector, targeting a storage infrastructure of 700 lakh metric tons over the next five years.
  • Objective: The ambitious plan, expected to cost Rs 1.25 lakh crore, aims to address the lack of adequate storage infrastructure, enabling farmers to sell their produce at opportune prices.
  • Significance of cooperatives: The initiative reflects the government's commitment to enhancing storage facilities and emphasizes the importance of cooperatives in agriculture.

Emphasis on Cooperatives

  • Increasing emphasis: The storage plan highlights the increasing emphasis on cooperatives in the government's agricultural policies, complemented by initiatives such as establishing primary agricultural credit societies (PACS), dairy, and fisheries cooperatives.
  • Strengthening the initiative: The Union Budget 2023-24 allocated funds for computerizing PACS and formed a Ministry of Cooperation, signaling the government's priority in strengthening cooperatives.
  • Role of cooperatives: Cooperatives, particularly PACS, play a vital role in the cooperative credit structure, serving millions of members, including small and marginal farmers, and facilitating lending through district central cooperative banks.

Role of Cooperatives and Prime Minister's Vision

  • Successful examples: Prime Minister Modi underscores the critical role of cooperatives in addressing farmers' challenges through collective strength, drawing on successful examples like Amul and Lijjat Papad.
  • A shift: The increasing reliance on cooperatives may signal a shift from expectations of large-scale private sector investments in agriculture infrastructure and marketing.
  • Empowerment: The government's focus on strengthening cooperatives aligns with its broader goal of empowering farmers and enhancing agricultural productivity and sustainability.
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