Reignite cooperative movement to boost economy of Nagaland, urges minister
Kohima, Nov. 14 (EMN): The Minister of Agriculture and Cooperation, G Kaito Aye, on Monday, stressed on the need for reigniting the cooperative movement to develop a strong economy in Nagaland state.
He was addressing the 69th All India Cooperative Week Celebration 2022 inaugural programme held at the Capital Convention Centre in Kohima.
Maintaining that the Cooperative Movement in Nagaland started in 1946 with the establishment of two cooperative societies, he said the state government acknowledged the role of cooperatives in promotion of economic and social democracy and in implementation of democratic planning with the principle of a welfare state. It, therefore, established the office of the Registrar of Co-operative Societies, Nagaland, in 1966 after bifurcating from Agriculture department.
Taking into consideration the important role of cooperatives in the development of the nation’s economy, a separate Co-operative Ministry was established by the Government of India in July 2021, said Aye, adding that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had used the slogan “Prosperity through Cooperation” to strengthen the cooperative spirit in the country.
‘Cooperatives are a tool to accelerate the pace of socio-economic development of the people, especially weaker section of the community,’ he said.
“The Indian cooperative movement is the largest movement in the world, with more than 8.5 lakh cooperatives working in various areas of socio-economic activities,” he said.
The minister also asserted that the government of Nagaland has always taken a proactive role in development of the Cooperative movement in the state. In the recent years, the government, taking advantage of the social capital, initiated “One Village, One Cooperative Society”, where each household is represented in the cooperative society.
He viewed that this society will be the economic counterpart of the Village Panchayat and provides all credit and non-credit services to its members.
The Integrated Cooperative Development Project (ICDP), a centrally-sponsored scheme (CSS) with a block cost of INR 52 crore, is a four-year compact area development project currently being implemented in Kohima, Tuensang, Kiphire, Peren and Longleng districts, and are stated to be nearing completion, he informed.
He said that the ICDP project has resulted in the creation of six collection centres; 300 micro ATMs; 42 pick-up marketing vehicles; 18 marketing godowns; three customised marketing bus; 304 piggery units; fruit preservation unit in Tuensang; two marketing complex; and 1230 hectares of new agri/horti cultivation areas.
Non-functioning cooperative societies
Meanwhile, the minister also observed that one of the major issues hindering the progress and development of the Cooperative Movement in Nagaland is the rampant presence of non-functioning and one-man cooperative societies.
He maintained that a specific direction had been given to cancel all non-functioning cooperative societies and till date, 566 non-functioning cooperative societies have been cancelled. Healso exuded hope that the department will take serious action even in the coming years.
Aye opined that the Cooperative Movement in Nagaland can be strong as the state has an organised community that can work together and develop a strong cooperative spirit.
He asserted that Cooperation, being a small department, does not get huge funds from the state, which slows down the progress and visibility of the department.
The minister also requested the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), North East Initiative Development Agency (NEIDA), National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) and other funding agencies to extend all possible help and assistance towards the Nagaland Cooperative Movement by reaching out to the farmers for the progress of the society.
Further, Aye underlined that cooperative week should aim at strengthening the cooperative movement and focus on various activities of the cooperatives.
He added that the cooperative societies are especially working in the rural areas and they have become the engines of the social and economic development of the people.
Earlier, Registrar of Cooperative Societies (RCS), Nagaland, Temjen Longkumer, in his keynote address, highlighted the functions of cooperatives and maintained that cooperatives in Nagaland are still at a nascent stage. He asserted that people should shift from a consumer to a producer society through a cooperative way, and learn to live in harmony with one another.
Meanwhile, Joint RCS, Thungchanbeni Patton, during the felicitation of the best integrated multipurpose cooperative society, informed that there are 140 registered MPCS in the state.
On the occasion, Chendan village integrated multi-purpose cooperative society Ltd., Tuensang and Chedema Village integrated MPCS, were awarded with cash prizes and certificates.
The representatives from the two awardees shared their experiences, while Ketholenuo, Project Officer, NCUI-CEFP, spoke about empowering marginal farmers, and Abhijit Deb, Managing Director, NSCB Ltd., spoke on state-level federation.
After the inaugural programme, interactive sessions were held between the officials of NABARD, NSRLM, NEIDA and Industries and Commerce department and the members of the multi-purpose cooperative societies, moderated.