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PM unveils world’s largest grain storage project in cooperative sector

03:38 AM Feb 25, 2024 IST | GK NEWS SERVICE
pm unveils world’s largest grain storage project in cooperative sector
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New Delhi, Feb 24: Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated and laid the foundation stone for several key initiatives at Bharat Mandapam, New Delhi. Among the highlights was the inauguration of the pilot project for the 'World's Largest Grain Storage Plan in Cooperative Sector,' operationalized across 11 Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS) spanning 11 states.

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In addition to the pilot project, the Prime Minister also initiated the foundation stone laying for an additional 500 PACS across the nation, aimed at bolstering agricultural infrastructure such as godowns and allied facilities. This initiative, facilitated by NABARD and spearheaded by the National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC), seeks to integrate PACS godowns into the food grain supply chain, thereby fortifying food security and fostering economic growth nationwide.

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The initiative leverages convergence with existing schemes such as the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund (AIF) and Agriculture Marketing Infrastructure (AMI), enabling participating PACS to avail subsidies and interest subvention benefits for infrastructural development.

Speaking at the event, Prime Minister Modi highlighted Bharat Mandapam's pivotal role in advancing the nation towards 'Sahkaar se Samriddhi,' or prosperity through cooperation. He emphasized the historic significance of cooperatives in India, citing their deep roots in the country's societal fabric and their potential to catalyse transformative change in the agricultural landscape.

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Highlighting the government's commitment to cooperative development, Prime Minister Modi emphasized the establishment of a separate Ministry for Cooperation, aimed at harnessing the collective strength of the agricultural sector. He lauded the burgeoning entrepreneurial spirit among small farmers, citing the successful establishment of over 8000 Farmers Producers Organizations (FPOs) across the nation.

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Moreover, Prime Minister Modi outlined the government's vision of empowering women within cooperatives, citing policy reforms aimed at ensuring gender representation within cooperative boards. He stressed the pivotal role of cooperatives in addressing farmers' challenges collectively, particularly in areas such as storage infrastructure.

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Addressing the broader agenda of agricultural modernization, Prime Minister Modi emphasized the role of technology and digital initiatives in expanding the reach of cooperative services, thereby creating new avenues for employment and income generation in rural areas.

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Furthermore, he urged cooperatives to explore opportunities for import substitution across various sectors, ranging from edible oils to manufacturing goods, thereby contributing to the vision of 'Aatmnirbhar Bharat' or self-reliant India.

The Prime Minister also emphasized the role of cooperatives in promoting sustainable agricultural practices, such as natural farming and renewable energy initiatives like rooftop solar installations.

Union Ministers including Amit Shah, Arjun Munda, and Piyush Goyal were also present on the occasion. The project, with a financial outlay exceeding Rs 2,500 crore, entails transitioning functional PACS onto a unified Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) based national software, aimed at enhancing operational efficiency and governance.

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