The national-level multi-state cooperative societies recently approved by the Union Cabinet for promotion of organic products and exports, will help increase farmers' income manifold in the next 10 years, Union Home and Cooperation Minister Amit Shah said here on Sunday.
Shah, who was here to inaugurate the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) 'Kisan Bhavan', also made a strong pitch for the farmers to adopt natural farming, which he said will help increase their income and also protect the soil and environment from the harm caused by chemical fertilisers.
"I assure you that the work started by (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi saheb will not just double but increase the income of every farmer many times in another 10 years. Only two cooperative societies for export and organic products will help increase farmers' income many times," he said.
He said that PM Modi made an important decision in the cabinet to set up three multi-state cooperative societies, of which two are very useful for the state's farmers. "One will transfer the profits to the farmers directly for the organic produce procured from them," Shah said.
Another cooperative society will help the farmers export their produce from any village in the country and serve as an export house with the profit to be transferred directly to farmers' bank accounts.
"For this, in the coming month, I will meet the chairman of district cooperative banks and APMCs in Gujarat to get them registered with cooperative societies. This will make farmers prosperous," said Shah, who also laid the foundation stone of Junagadh district cooperative bank building here.
The cabinet had in January this year approved setting up of National Export Society, National Cooperative Society for Organic Products and National Level Multi-state Seed Cooperative Society. The minister said that the arrangement for testing of land and natural farm products will be set up in each district in the coming five years for the purpose.
He said the government has also decided to set up a cooperative society in each of the country's panchayats, which will help reach the Centre's schemes to the farmers. "Cooperatives benefit farmers. The central government's budget does not reach you (farmers) because the cooperative structure is not proper. If the cooperative structure becomes strong, then all the schemes of the central government will start reaching you," he said.
Shah said that the large-scale use of urea has spoiled farm land, and lakhs of farmers have moved towards natural farming. "We will have to move fast towards natural farming and show a way to the world. I assure you that on the basis of scientific data it is established that natural farming does not reduce yield but rather increase it," he said.
To get a better price, there is a need for marketing and certification of such produce and ensuring that fake organic products do not hit the market, he said, adding that 'Amul' has already started marketing such products.