Urban Development and Cooperation Minister Suresh Bhardwaj said on Saturday that the government of Himachal Pradesh was taking effective measures to promote cooperative societies in the agricultural sector of the state.
He was speaking at the inauguration of the Kangra Primary Agriculture and Rural Development Cooperative Bank (KCPARD) building in Dharamshala. The building was constructed at the cost of ₹1.20 crore.
He said Himachal has become the first state to start the process of forming agricultural producer organizations.
He said the first cooperative society in the country was registered in 1892 at Panjawar in Una district and the state has made leaps and bounds in the cooperative sector since then. He said the Kangra Cooperative Primary Agriculture and Rural Development Bank was established in 1966.
He said that many significant steps have been taken to move forward in the direction of cooperatives across the country.
After the formation of the government led by Narendra Modi at the Center, a separate Ministry of Cooperation was also created, which was previously under the Ministry of Agriculture,” he said.
He said there were 4,600 registered cooperative societies in the state with a membership of over 17 lakh.
“In view of the progress made in the cooperative sector, the plan has been prepared to promote cooperatives in the agricultural sector,” he said.
He said the agricultural producer organization being formed in the state will set up various facilities such as cold stores and markets so that farmers’ produce fetches lucrative prices.
He also appreciated the work done by the Kangra Cooperative Primary Agriculture and Rural Development Bank.