Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Kaito hopes for NE-specific infra development policy

Minister for agriculture G Kaito Aye, asserted that the consecutive Five-Year Plans targeted towards infrastructure development did little to create any tangible infrastructure development owing to the remoteness and political unrest in Nagaland.
Speaking at the two-day National Conference of State Cooperation Ministers in Delhi, Kaito said this was the main reason why Nagaland in particular and the North Eastern region in general lag behind in infrastructure development and also hardly have any cooperative institute or organization of repute from the region.
Kaito Aye exuded confidence that the conference would open avenues for a special policy for the North Eastern Region especially focussing on cooperative infrastructure development and creation of organic value chain for agri and horticulture products.
He highlighted an area that needed immediate attention such as Dairy sector. Kaito informed that there were only three district-level Milk Unions and the rest of the 13 districts did not have any dairy infrastructure.
The minister said that the absence of support for dairy activities has affected economic growth of the cattle farmers and were lagging behind their counterparts though there were so much potential to invest in dairy development in the state.
He said in Nagaland, the introduction of Cooperatives has been relatively late as compared to other parts of the country. He said 70% of the state population were into agriculture with low income and limited resources, so the importance of the role of cooperative sector cannot be more evident.
He said state government has always taken a pro-active role in development of Cooperative movement in the state. In the recent years, Kaito said Nagaland government has taken advantage of the social capital and has initiated One Village, One Cooperative Society, where each household was represented in the cooperative society.
He said the society was the economic counterpart of the village panchayat, and provides all credit and non-credit services to its members.
Further, the minister said the National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) has been the only consistent development partner in the State and has played a part in filling-in the financial gaps.
Since 1990s, he said NCDC has played an active role in assisting the nascent cooperative movement in the state and the State was presently implementing Integrated Cooperative Development Project (ICDP) in five districts since 2018-19 and was benefitting 786 Cooperative Societies with 36,317members.
The minister was of the view that compact area development schemes like ICDP should be continued with vital back-end subsidies.
Though there were various CSS projects targeting the farmers, Kaito said there were various technical roadblocks in implementation.
He informed that the only cooperative Bank (Nagaland State Cooperative Bank Ltd) was a non-scheduled bank, making it ineligible to access AIF and other similar schemes.
However, he said the sanction was not issued against AIF in Nagaland till date. The minister said that the state-specific land holding system restrains the farmers to access the much-needed Credit from the limited banking sectors in the state.
He urged the new Ministry to provide considerable attention and support to some of the mentioned issues that would ensure the vision of the Sahakar se Samriddhi (prosperity through cooperation) reach the farthest corner of the country and the lives of the farmers at the grassroots level were benefitted.
Kaito congratulated Union Home & Cooperation Minister Amit Shah for organizing the conference and exuding confidence that the conference would usher in a new chapter for the cooperatives to participate in the nation’s goal of becoming USD 30 trillion economy.