Union Home Minister and Minister of Cooperation, Shri Amit Shah addressed the “National Symposium on Production of Improved and Traditional Seed through Cooperative Sector” organized by Bharatiya Beej Sahkari Samiti Limited (BBSSL), in New Delhi today.
Shri Amit Shah unveiled the Logo, Website and Brochure of BBSSL and distributed the membership certificates to the members of BBSSL. On this occasion, many dignitaries including Union Minister of State for Cooperation, Shri BL Verma, Secretary, Ministry of Cooperation and Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare were also present.
In his address, Shri Amit Shah said that today is very important from the point of view of new beginnings in the field of cooperative movement, farmers’ welfare and food production in the country. He said that BBSSL will have a huge contribution in making India self-reliant in the field of seed conservation, promotion and research in the coming days. Scientifically designed and prepared seeds are not available to every farmer in the country today, that is why it is our responsibility to ensure that certified and scientifically prepared seeds reach every farmer of our country and this work will also be done by this cooperative society. Shri Shah said that India is one of the few countries in the world where agriculture was systematically introduced and that is why our traditional seeds are most suitable for quality and physical nutrition. He said that the traditional Indian seeds have to be conserved and passed on to the coming generations, so that the production of healthy grains, fruits and vegetables continues and this work will be done by BBSSL. He said that the seeds produced here are mainly prepared by R&D through foreign methods, but if our agricultural scientists get a good platform then they can make the maximum production yielding seeds in the world. The R&D for this objective will be done by BBSSL. Shri Shah said that there is a huge market for export of seeds in the world and India’s share in it is less than one percent, a time-bound target should be set for a vast and agriculture-oriented country like India to gain a larger share in the global seed market. He added that the Modi government has established Bharatiya Beej Sahkari Samiti Limited with these five objectives and in a few years this society will get recognition across the world and will make immense contribution in providing certified seeds to the farmers of the country.
Union Minister of Cooperation said that as per directions of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, on January 11, 2023, the Union Cabinet approved the formation of Indian Seed Cooperative Society Limited, it was registered on January 25, 2023, and its notification was issued on March 21, 2023. The training program has also been completed in a very short span of time. He added that BBSSL will also connect Primary Agricultural Credit Society (PACS) with seed production like all other types of cooperative societies including agriculture, horticulture, dairy, fisheries. Through PACS, every farmer will be able to produce seeds in his field, the seeds will also be certified and after branding, BBSSL will contribute in delivering these seed not only to the entire country but also to the whole world. He said that the entire profit of this seed cooperative society will go directly into the bank accounts of the seed producing farmers and this is the basic mantra of the cooperative. Through BBSSL, the high genetic and physical purity of the seeds will be maintained without any compromise and the health of the consumer will also be taken care of. Keeping these three things together, our main aim is to increase the production. He said that the objective of BBSSL is not only to earn profits but through this we want to match India’s production with the world’s average production. Along with this, instead of unskilled production of high quality seeds, we will work on linking the farmers with scientific production of seeds by training them. Today, the requirement of seeds in India itself is about 465 lakh quintals, out of which 165 lakh quintals are produced through government system and the production through cooperatives is less than 1 percent, we have to change this ratio.
Shri Amit Shah said that the farmers who will come together in seed production through cooperatives will directly get the profit from the seeds. He said that the share of India’s domestic seed market in the global market is only 4.5 percent, it needs to be increased and a lot of work will have to be done for this. Shri Shah said that we will have to decide the goals for the next 5 years for BBSSL. He said that under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, this seed cooperative society has not only been established to set targets of profit and production, but it will also do R&D work, which will increase production. Shri Shah said that Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), 3 Central Agricultural Universities, 48 State Agricultural Universities, more than 726 Agricultural Science Centres and 72 government agencies of the Centre and States are connected to the Seed Network. He said that we have no competition with anyone, rather our aim is to ensure that profits should reach the farmers, production of certified seeds increase and India’s share in seed exports also increase. He said that by taking all these institutions together, we will take forward the work of this seed cooperative and move towards achieving our targeted seed replacement rate.
Union Home Minister and Minister of Cooperation said that IFFCO, KRIBHCO, NAFED, NDDB and NCDC have been added to the core of this institution, which in a way have access to the farmers’ fields. Multiplication will be stopped through these institutions and all the cooperative organizations will work in the same direction with the same goals on the same road map. He said that when all the institutions move on a single road map, the speed naturally increases and multi state cooperatives, state level cooperative institutions, district level cooperative institutions and PACS will also be able to join them. In this way, a blueprint has been prepared in which every type of cooperative can become a part of it and BBSSL will be able to get their support. Shri Shah said that we will be able to do production, testing, certification, purchase, processing, storage, branding, labelling, packaging and export through the cooperative network because if the seeds are not tested after production, then the quality will be affected. Similarly, if there is no certification after testing, then there will be no credibility; if there is no processing, branding and labelling after certification, then it will not get fair prices. Its entire arrangement from storage to marketing and then exporting it to the world market in a proper scientific manner will be done through the cooperative sector only. He added that this entire system will be world class and modern and our cooperatives have demonstrated it.
Shri Amit Shah said that we will move forward in the field of seed production, R&D and export through the successful experience of these institutions in the field of production, quality, branding, and marketing. Bharatiya Beej Sahakari Samiti Limited will help in giving impetus to the rural economy of the country as well as making the country self-reliant in seed production and increasing its share in the global market of seeds. The biggest beneficiaries of this will be small farmers, women and youth. He said that production of good quality seeds is very important to change the crop pattern in the country and when we will connect lakhs of farmers of the country with seed production, then the farmer will automatically work as marketing manager in the village. Shri Shah said that Bharatiya Beej Sahakari Samiti Limited (BBSSL) will fulfil many objectives.
Union Minister of Cooperation said that one of our biggest objectives is to conserve traditional seeds, because we have millions of varieties of seeds, but even the government departments do not have complete information about them. He said that traditional seeds are available to every farmer in lakhs of villages, collecting its data, enhancing it, scientifically analysing it and preparing a data bank of its positive aspects is a huge task, which the Government of India will do. He said that we have also put forward the climate change concern in this. Shri Shah said that due to the initiative of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, the huge market of Shree Anna (millets) has emerged in the world today and very few countries other than India have its seeds. If our seed cooperative pays attention to this then we can have a monopoly on Ragi, Bajra, Jowar and many other millets.
The three major cooperative societies of the country – Indian Farmers Fertilizer Cooperative Limited (IFFCO), Krishak Bharati Cooperative Limited (KRIBHCO) and National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED) and two major statutory bodies of the Government of India – National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) and National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) have jointly promoted BBSSL.