New Delhi: In a resounding success for the recently established National Cooperative for Exports Ltd (NCEL) in India, the organization has received orders amounting to a staggering INR 7,000 crore (approximately $930 million). Cooperation Minister Amit Shah announced this remarkable achievement, emphasizing NCEL’s commitment to ensuring equitable distribution of export benefits to member farmers of cooperatives. The cooperative has pledged to allocate a substantial portion, at least 50 percent, of its export profits directly to these farmers, going beyond the minimum support price.
NCEL, established on January 25, 2023, has already initiated negotiations for orders worth INR 15,000 crore. This development was unveiled during the launch of NCEL’s logo, website, and promotional brochure.
Notably, NCEL’s mission is to facilitate cooperative societies’ entrance into the global export market, guiding them in the production and manufacturing of goods that align with international standards.
India boasts approximately 8 lakh cooperative societies, comprising over 29 crore members. The current phase of NCEL’s operations is based in a provisional office, with ongoing staff recruitment. However, it has managed to secure INR 7,000 crore in orders, while discussions for INR 15,000 crore worth of orders are actively in progress. Minister Shah conveyed this information during his address at a national symposium.
Furthermore, NCEL is poised to procure export-bound commodities from member farmers of cooperatives at a minimum support price, ensuring a significant proportion of the profits flows directly into their bank accounts. This approach will offer a substantial financial boost to farmers who often receive inadequate compensation for their produce, be it wheat, sugar, or dairy products.
NCEL’s scope extends beyond profit generation from exports; it aims to guide farmers in the production of goods tailored for international markets. This includes support in branding, packaging, quality assurance, infrastructural development, and setting standardized parameters for product quality at nominal costs.
Minister Shah expressed concern over the limited participation of cooperatives in the global export arena, despite their substantial contributions to national production, such as in cotton, sugar, and dairy. While cooperatives account for 30 percent of sugar production, their contribution to exports stands at a mere 1 percent. Similarly, their share in milk production reaches 17 percent, but their export contribution remains below 2 percent. This situation presents a significant opportunity for expanded exports.
NCEL, thus, assumes the pivotal role of bridging this disparity, thereby increasing rural income. Minister Shah underlined the substantial global demand for Indian-produced items like dairy products, spices, ethanol, cumin, psyllium, and organic products. The cooperative is envisioned to inject new vitality into the sector by pursuing six key objectives: bolstering exports, elevating rural and farmer income, inducing changes in crop patterns, accessing global markets for organic produce, fostering biofuel production, and fortifying the cooperative sector’s foundations.
Moreover, NCEL will assist cooperative societies in altering their crop selection to meet global market demands, encouraging organic produce exports.
Minister Shah expressed his confidence in NCEL’s potential, likening it to the successful ventures of IFFCO and Amul. NCEL has already amassed 1,500 members, with the objective of establishing at least one cooperative body at the tehsil-level association.
Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal, present at the event, lauded the creation of NCEL, asserting that it would invigorate India’s exports, thus contributing to national growth and rural transformation. He underscored the imperative of cooperatives producing high-quality goods that comply with international standards to tap into the export potential.
In addition to Minister Shah and Minister Goyal, the event was attended by Minister of State for Cooperation B L Verma, Cooperation Secretary Gyanesh Kumar, and NCEL Chief Pankaj Kumar Bansal.
NCEL is endowed with an authorized share capital of INR 2,000 crore. Eligible cooperative societies, ranging from primary to apex levels, can seek membership, with a focus on tapping into international markets beyond India’s borders.
This initiative aims to channel the surplus produced within the Indian cooperative sector to wider global markets, aligning with the nation’s ongoing global prominence.