NEW DELHI (Commodity Online): In order to enable cooperative sector to play their role effectively in the development of the economy, NCDC is asked to adapt changes and evolve innovative strategies and business practices.

Addressing at the 69th meeting of General Council of the National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC), India's Minister of Food and Agriculture, Sharad Pawar asked to it to launch a special and concerted effort to augment storage capacity in the cooperative sector and promote the development of cold storage infrastructure throughout the country in the coming year.

Cooperative sector plays a vital role in arranging storage facilities, the Minister said. Storage facility in cooperative sector improve the rural economy, strengthens livelihoods, while reducing wastage and enhancing food availability, he added.

The Minister also asked the NCDC to innovate the system by bringing new ways of supporting cooperatives and new instruments to provide an impetus for growth of the sector in line with modern day realities.

Referring to RBI's decision not to treat the loans being provided by NCDC to the cooperative sector for agriculture and allied activities as priority sector lending beyond 31st March, 2010, the Minister informed that the government is seized of the problem and various alternatives are under consideration to ensure credit to the cooperatives at competitive rates.