Need to reverse the trend of farmers buying in retail and selling at wholesale prices: Modi
The PM was addressing a cooperative conference organised to commemorate the birth centenary of Laxman Rao Inamdar, founder of the RSS’s cooperative wing Sahkar Bharti and a mentor to Modi in his early years in the sangh.india Updated: Sep 21, 2017 15:06 IST
To end farm distress, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday called for reversing the trend whereby Indian farmers buy their farm inputs in retail prices and sell their produces at wholesale rates.
“When you hold your deliberations today please do discuss that the famer has many problems. He buys in retail and sells in wholesale. Can we reverse this? No one will be able to loot him,” Modi said during his inaugural address to the Cooperative conference in New Delhi.
Cooperatives should find ways of doubling farmers’ income, Modi said as he spoke of his government’s ambitious target of achieving that by 2022.
The conference has been organised to commemorate the birth centenary of Laxman Rao Inamdar, founder of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh’s cooperative wing Sahkar Bharti and a mentor to Modi in his early years in the RSS.
The Sangh is the ideological parent of the ruling BJP.
“No middleman can harm the farmer,” Modi said, if the cooperative movement can evolve a mechanism under which he (a farmer) can buy his farm inputs at wholesale prices and sell his produce at retail rates.
“Cooperative dairy works on a similar principle. The dairy farmer buys and sells in wholesale,” Modi added.
Addressing the gathering, which included ministers and officials from the agriculture ministry, state governments and NGOs, at Vigyan Bhawan Modi said “We have to evolve a way to move forward in agriculture with the help of cooperatives.”
“We can’t leave the villages behind while the cities move forward,” Modi asserted.
The Prime Minister’s address was preceded by a short film on the life of Inamdar (who had earned the sobriquet of “Vakil saahab” for his work as a lawyer), which showed him as a pioneer of the cooperative movement and described a young Modi as one of his close associates.
Modi, while speaking of Inamdar, said, “People will ask we haven’t even heard of him and you are celebrating his birth centenary. I agree you would not have heard of him. That is his biggest achievement.”
“There are people who are not in the headlines or do not shine on TV but they work silently with dedication,” he said.
“As a young man I worked with him for several years. His life is an inspiration for me,” Modi reminisced. The Prime Minister said when he was writing a book on Inamdar’s life “twenty five-thirty years ago” he got to know about many achievements of the RSS leader which he did not know despite spending years with him.
Modi’s biography of Inamdar the ‘Setubandh’ was released by the then prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee at 7 Race Course Road on August 18, 2001.