Greening India through Cooperatives

Greening India through Cooperatives

With the rise in global temperature and extra people-contradictions all over the globe, there is a need to find innovative solutions to mitigate the major impact of climate change. Here, the cooperative societies with their unique solutions at the local level could provide alternative solutions to mitigate the risk of climate change. There is a need to support their role by the government with adequate funding and policy support.

What are the Co-operatives?
• They are people-centered enterprises owned, controlled and run by and for their members to realize their common, social and cultural needs and aspirations.
• Co-operatives function on true democratic principles. They are democratically managed by the ‘one member, one vote’ rule. Members share equal voting rights regardless of the amount of capital they bring in.

What role do they play in mitigating climate change?
• Cooperatives have the potential of solving real-world problems with their innovative skills like alternative sources of clean water for communities and helping to accomplish sustainable goals of energy access, energy efficiency, and reduced emissions.
• Cooperatives contribute to the sustainable management of natural resources in several ways.
• Cooperatives collectively provide solutions to the looming impact of rising temperature, loss of jobs, depletion of water resources, degradation of land and forest resources and accumulation of wastes leading to health hazards.

Success stories of co-operatives in India:
• Dhundi village in the Kheda district of Gujarat had formed the world’s first solar irrigation cooperative as Dhundi Saur Urja Utpadak Sahakari Mandali (DSUUSM) in 2016.
The members of this cooperative society are often called solar entrepreneurs who are harvesting solar energy. This has enabled them to reap a better harvest and they are connected to the grid for additional income.
• Indian Farm Forestry Development Co-operative (India), the umbrella co-operative, is turning wasteland back into the forest in three north-central States of India, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
• There are also examples from leading cooperatives giants like AMUL, IFFCO and NAFED etc, diversified into organic farming by supporting the cooperatives for production certification, adherence to food safety and linking to the market-driven value chains. The initiatives of this kind have made cooperatives oriented towards natural and organic farming and are all set to cater to the demand for organic produce.
• Self Employed Women’s Association’s (SEWA’s) interventions regarding the environment, climate, water, clean energy, and spreading awareness are apt in the current times and support our national goals (sustainable development goals) to be achieved by 2030.

Challenges faced by the Co-operatives:
• The role of cooperatives has been overlooked by policymakers at various levels due to their lack of visibility.
• Whether public or private sector, both are not showing any amount of confidence in this sector, as there is little or no financial support for cooperatives, so this harms their potential.
• In some cooperatives, due to the lack of understanding of the market and poor level of skill set of workers, many cooperatives underperform and are not able to provide the desired results.

Way Forward:
• Reaching out to cooperatives for raising awareness about environmental problems, training on adaptation and mitigation, forging alliances to work together, and investing in cooperative enterprises and innovations are required to have a green agenda for a sustainable future.
• The government needs to work upon enhancing their capabilities by providing them with proper guidance and support from market and business communities so that they can get the desired level of skill set and knowledge of running an enterprise and can further utilize these capabilities to solve environmental problems.

DICS Branches

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DICS Ahmedabad


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Address : 506, 3rd EYE THREE (III), Opp. Induben Khakhrawala, Girish Cold Drink Cross Road, CG Road, Navrangpura, Ahmedabad, 380009.

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