NEW DELHI: Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal Tuesday announced formation of a Cooperative Sector Exports Promotion Forum (CSEPF) to achieve the target of doubling farm exports to USD 60 billion by 2022.
He also said the first-ever 'International Cooperative Trade Fair' will be organised between October 11 and 13 at Pragati Maidan in the national capital to promote exports by cooperatives.
There are more than 8 lakh cooperative institutions in India and 94 per cent of the country's 15 crore farmers are members of at least one cooperative body.
"Cooperative Sector Exports Promotion Forum (CSEPF) has been set up in National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) which will work with 20 states and union territories in the area of export," Goyal said at a press conference here.
Stating that cooperatives are in a nascent stage right now as far as exports are concerned, the minister said that therefore, the government's aim is to get them together and encourage them produce and market products for the global market.
Boosting farm exports will help the government achieve the target of doubling farmers income by 2022, he said adding that all concerned ministries are working jointly towards this direction.
The international trade fair is one such platform for cooperatives to interact with global buyers and understand their needs and accordingly produce or manufacture products, he added.
The trade fair, to be organised jointly by commerce, agriculture and external affairs ministries with support of cooperative bodies such as the National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) and the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority, will show direction for exporting value-added agriculture products.
Stating that cooperatives are heart of the farm sector, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said there is a need for all cooperatives to strengthen further to market their products in the international market.
"There were times when one minister and officer was not talking to the other and projects were held up.
But today, all departments are working together and preparing programmes for the welfare of farmers," he said.
Minister of State for Agriculture Kailash Choudhary, Agricutlure Secretary Sanjay Agarwal, NCDC Managing Director Sandeep Kumar Nayak were also present at the press conference, where a logo for the trade fair was also unveiled.