Union Home and Cooperation Minister Amit Shah on Sunday said that the cooperative movement will play a huge role in achieving the $5 trillion economy envisaged by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
In his address at an event to celebrate the 75th year of Amul, he said: "Sardar Patel had a very deep relationship with this cooperative movement. The non-cooperation movement the farmers carried out provided the roots for this giant tree, that has grown today in the form of Amul. I fold my hands in respect to each and every contributor who has played a smaller or larger role in the success of Amul, including the smallest milk contributors from the remotest village."
Amul was started in 1946 as a cooperative movement in Anand with the guidance of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and cooperative leader Tribhuvandas Patel, the founder of Kheda District Co-operative Milk Producers' Union, popularly known as Amul Dairy. Amul was an acronym for Anand Milk Union Ltd then.
Now, it is a part of the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), selling its dairy products with the brand name 'Amul'. The federation has 17 other district cooperative unions having around 36 lakh farmer families in Gujarat associated with Amul.
Referring to the farmers agitation in the initial days of Amul, Shah said: "Agitations are carried out to solve the issues, not create an issue. The farmers in Anand were being exploited and then carried out an agitation against the private dairy through non-cooperation. And through this agitation they sowed a seed, which now has grown into a giant tree providing income to 36 lakh families. Not only did the exploitation stopped but it showed the tactfulness of Sardar in creating a cooperation movement taking along everybody in the process."
"Amul's journey began with the collection of 200 litres of milk in 1946 and now, 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," he added.
Shah said that the Ministry of Cooperation, which was created in July this year with the motto of "Sahkar Se Samriddhi", was in the process of preparing its charter.
He also launched a scheme from the Cooperation Ministry called 'Dairy Sahakar', with an outlay of Rs 5,000 crore, wherein the dairy sector would get loans through the National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC).
During the event, he released a postal stamp commemorating Amul's 75th anniversary, launched the Amul brand of organic fertilisers, and awarded progressive farmers. He also inaugurated an Ethno Veterinary Supplement Plant and cheese storage facility in Gujarat.