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The cooperative sector has a potential to turn India into a $5 trillion economy and will also prove crucial in making the agriculture sector self-reliant, Union Home and Cooperation Minister Amit Shah said on Sunday. He said there was a need to implement the cooperative model, which is behind the success of milk giant Amul, to uplift agriculture and its allied sectors. 

At an event organised to mark the completion of 75 years of Amul, which was started in 1946 as a cooperative movement in Anand, Shah said that time has come to see beyond milk processing. "We need to implement this cooperative model to uplift sectors like agriculture and animal husbandry…The cooperative model will prove crucial in making agriculture 'atmanirbhar' (self-reliant)," he said. 

At present, Amul Dairy, along with 17 other district cooperative unions are part of the umbrella body the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation, which sells its dairy products under the brand name 'Amul'. There are around 36 lakh farmer families in Gujarat who are associated with Amul. 

"Do not limit yourself to 36 lakh. Today, many farmers have turned to organic farming, but they do not have any platform to sell those organic farm produce in India and the world. Can cooperative organisations like Amul help them in doing it? Time has come to think on those lines. This will also increase the farmers' income," Shah said. 

In July this year, the Centre created a separate Ministry of Co-operation for realizing the vision of ‘Sahkar se Samriddhi’. Amit Shah was given the charge if this newly created ministry, whose aim is to strengthen the cooperative movement in the country.

Today, Shah expressed confidence that the cooperative movement will play an important role in making India a $5 trillion economy and said that even Prime Minister Modi firmly believes that the cooperative sector will be crucial in making India 'atmanirbhar'. 

He also talked about Amul's journey from collection of just 200 litres of milk in 1946 to 3 crore litres in 2021. "Amul started its journey with the collection of 200 litres of milk in 1946. Today, 3 crore litres of milk is processed daily with the help of around 18,000 cooperative societies across Gujarat. Eighteen district-level dairies and 87 milk processing plants are associated with Amul," Shah  said. He told the audience that Amul's turnover has reached 53,000 crore in 2020-21. 

Shah informed that Ministry of Cooperation was in the process of preparing a charter of the ministry. "The purpose of a movement is to find a solution to a problem, not to aggravate it," he said remembering the cooperative movement started by Sardar Patel and Tribhuvandas Patel, which led to the creation of Amul. 

With agency inputs 

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