Setting up of a National Level MSCOS under MSCS

There are around 34 lakh organic producers in 190 countries with land coverage of 749 lakh hectares (1.6% of total agricultural land of the world) of which Australia has largest land coverage of 357 lakh hectares. India ranks 4th with 27 lakh hectares of organic land of which, 7.6 lakh hectares is in Madhya Pradesh, 3.5 lakh hectares is in Rajasthan and 2.8 lakh hectares is in Maharashtra. Out of total 34 lakh organic producers in the world, 16 lakh are from India.
India has lot of potential to produce all varieties of organic products due to its diverse agro climatic conditions. In several parts of the country, the inherited tradition of organic farming is an added advantage especially in North Eastern Region (NER), where Sikkim was declared as fully organic state in 2016. Organic farming is one such alternative where the produce is grown under a system of agriculture, without the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, with an environment friendly and socially responsible approach. there is a need to strengthen our organic producers by providing them institutional support from production till consumption.
The growing trend of organic market in India as well as abroad provides immense opportunity to organic producers especially the rural population of the country which are directly or indirectly linked with cooperative sector. There are 8.54 lakh registered cooperatives in the country having more than 29 crore members especially from the rural areas engaged in activities related to agriculture and allied sector which is the strength of the cooperative sector that can be utilised for development of organic clusters and its entire supply chain. It is, therefore, the Union Cabinet, has approved a historic decision to set up and promote a National Level Multi-state Cooperative Organic Society under Multi State Cooperative Societies (MSCS) Act, 2002 to act as an umbrella organization for organic products in coordination with Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region.
The main objectives are to provide institutional support for aggregation, certification, testing, procurement, storage, processing, branding, labelling, packaging, logistic facilities, marketing of organic products and arranging financial assistance to the organic farmers through its member cooperatives including Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS) / Farmers Producer Organizations (FPOs) and will take up all promotion and development related activities of organic products with the help of various schemes and agencies of the Government and to empanel accredited organic testing labs and certification bodies who meet the criteria specified by the society to bring down the cost of testing and certification. Three leading cooperatives viz., Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Limited (GCMMF), National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Limited (NAFED), National Cooperative Consumers’ Federation of India Limited (NCCF) and other two national level organizations viz., National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) and National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) have resolved to contribute Rs 20 crore each and become promoter members for establishing a national level multi-state cooperative society for organic products. It will have area of operation all over the country.
Kh Rangamlian Aimol, Director (i/c)
Institute of Cooperative Management, Imphal.

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