CNRI proposes creation of ‘World Cooperative Economic Forum’ for democratising global food at UN’s ECOSOC

New York (USA), July 22Confederation of NGOs of Rural India (CNRI) has proposed the creation of a global forum – World Cooperative Economic Forum – to democratize the global value chain for innovative food systems amid rising concerns over inequality in the post-Covid world. 

New Delhi-based CNRI is the national network of non-government organizations and people’s organizations working for development effectiveness and democratic governance in India.

Addressing the United Nations’ Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) here, Secretary General of CNRI Mr. Binod Anand said he comes from a country where thousands of years ago, the concept of social and solidarity economy was expressed differently.”

It can be summarized in English “Let us speak together. Let our thought be one. Let us be of one mind. Let the place be common. Assembly be common. Mind and thought be common. Let the resolve be the same. And the mind be of one accord. Maybe live in Harmony and agreement (Rig Veda),” said Mr. Anand.

“It is heartening to notice India has become home for cooperative Movement and helping the civil society create – World Cooperative Economic Forum- will go a long way in developing Social and Solidarity economy,” Mr. Binod Anand said. 

Mr. Anand also strongly advocated exploring SDG bonds as a new source of capital for raising vital resources for humanitarian projects in the post-COVID world. 

 Mr. Anand said the world is compelled to reconsider the issue of rising inequality, which has cast doubts on the successful implementation of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Poverty itself bears multiple definitions. 

To illustrate the point, he said two successful cases from India could be highlighted here. 

Firstly, in the private sector, Dhanuka AgriTech’s sustainable agriculture initiative stands as a significant milestone. This initiative honors farmers with the slogan “India Ka Pranam Har Kisan keNaam” (Salutations to every farmer). It not only educates grassroots farmers about Sustainable Development Goals but also supports their efforts in practising sustainability within the Crop Protection sector, thus contributing to National Food Security.

Secondly, a government initiative called the Small Farmers Agribusiness Consortium plays a crucial role in helping farmers adopt sustainable practices. It not only promotes Smart Agriculture but also ensures a democratic value chain for farmer groups and cooperatives. This initiative directly impacts approximately 10 million farmers with limited resources, setting a successful example for Social and Solidarity economy principles.

He emphasized that CNRI feels imperative to bring structural reforms in the delivery mechanism to ensure that the decisions and reforms that are undertaken ensure a bright future for humanity.

CNRI was recently accorded special consultative status by the United Nations in recognition of the work being done by it in rural India.