Shri Singh said that while increased productivity is an essential component of a vibrant agricultural sector, improved post harvest handling and processing is essential to ensure value addition, reduction in wastage and transporting good quality products to markets. He said that it is in this context that agricultural cooperatives have a very important role to play and it is expected that NCDC to fully support them.
Shri Singh said that agriculture remains central to India’s economy. He said that the livelihood of a large number of farm families is linked to agriculture. He said that the country is a leading producer of several commodities – cereals, fruits, vegetables, milk, eggs and jute. Further in a scenario of growing grain stock and increasing production of high value commodities, improving market linkage assumes great significance, he said. Shri Singh urged for participation and involvement of the cooperatives in the marketing and distribution of agricultural commodities.
Shri Singh said that during the year, NCDC would continue to support and supplement Government efforts towards development of cooperatives in agriculture and allied sectors. The focus would be on consolidation of the existing infrastructure and units established by the cooperatives especially for value addition and processing of farmers’ produce, strengthening of forward and backward linkages for procurement and marketing. He spoke about strengthening of the existing monitoring systems and creating awareness about NCDC schemes / programmes by organizing workshops.