Union Home and Cooperation Minister Amit Shah on Sunday cited cooperation as the only way through which the country can move towards development.

In the Gujarat capital to inaugurate and dedicate new Amul plants worth Rs 415 crore, he said: "To identify a successful model for the development of any country is a debatable question and subject and many economic models have failed. Looking at the vast, more than 130 crore population of the country and after going through many economic models, Prime Minister Narendra Modi decided that the cooperation was the only way through which the country can move towards an inclusive development and with this intent in mind, he formed the Ministry of Cooperation.

"At that time many laughed at this and questioned its outcome. And it is a matter of pride that I was fortunate enough to become its first minister."

Noting that the cooperative moment is not new thing, he said its seeds were sowed by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and Tribhovandas Patel.

"Can anyone believe that the initiative which started with only 21 villages has now grown into Rs 53,000 crore business with more than 18,000 milk producing societies and 36 lakh women associated with it? Likewise, in each and every sector of the country's growth movement, cooperation is the only answer to bring about an inclusive growth and development."

Shah also stressed on the same cooperative movement started for the milk products be continued for fertilisers and farming.

"In the same way which you have formed the milk procurement, processing and marketing strategy, frame a similar marketing strategy for producing organic and natural fertilisers. Right now if there is a big problem in the country, that of fertilisers. Chemical fertilisers are destroying the land, whereas organic farming not only will save the land, but save the health of humans, as well as animals," he said.

"Many have opted for organic farming and natural farming, but these farmers do not get sufficient prices and they get it at par with chemical fertiliser-produced products. But I say that even if it's difficult, there is a need to form a marketing chain for organic farming and I request the Amul to work on it and form this strategy," he said.

The new milk powder plant, set up at Rs 257 crore, will be a unit of Gujarat Cooperative Milk and Marketing Federation's (GCMMF) and is Asia's largest fully automated dairy having milk handling capacity of 50 lakh litres per day. The capacity of the dairy has been enhanced from 35 lakh litres per day to 50 lakh litres with the installation of an ultra-modern milk powder plant having a capacity of 150 tonnes per day.

Shah also inaugurated AmulFed Dairy's new milk powder factory, poly film manufacturing plant, and other projects. He also inaugurated a new butter manufacturing plant and high-tech warehousing facility at AmulFed Dairy in Gandhinagar.

The new butter plant will triple AmulFed Dairy's butter manufacturing capacity from 40 tonnes per day to 120 tonnes.