Jetha Bharwad Elected Unopposed as NAFED Chairman

Besides his new role at NAFED, Jetha Bharwad serves as the chairman of Panchmahal Dairy and Panchmahal District Co-operative (PDC) Bank


GANDHINAGAR, GUJARAT : In a significant development for India’s agricultural sector, Jetha Bharwad has been elected unopposed as the chairman of the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED). Bharwad, who serves as the deputy speaker of the Gujarat legislative assembly and has notable roles in local cooperatives, assumed the position following a decisive board meeting held in Delhi.

Bharwad’s ascent to the chairmanship came after he vacated his legislative seat for Dilip Sanghani, further solidifying his influence in both state and national cooperative sectors. At the board meeting, which witnessed the participation of 21 directors including two from Gujarat, Bharwad emerged as the sole candidate, underscoring the consensus around his leadership capabilities.

The election process, held in Delhi, saw all directors casting their votes, including Rajkot MP Mohan Kundariya, who was initially seen as a formidable contender for the chairmanship. Kundariya’s participation highlighted the competitive spirit within the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) regarding key cooperative positions.

Jetha Bharwad’s unopposed election marks a notable milestone in his career, reflecting his deep-rooted involvement in cooperative initiatives. Besides his new role at NAFED, Bharwad serves as the chairman of Panchmahal Dairy and Panchmahal District Co-operative (PDC) Bank. His extensive experience in managing agricultural and cooperative enterprises is expected to bring a new vision to NAFED, an organization crucial to the marketing of agricultural produce and ensuring fair prices for farmers.

However, this year has not been without its challenges for the BJP in navigating the cooperative sector’s political landscape. The selection of candidates has been particularly contentious. Earlier, the BJP faced an unexpected upset when Jayesh Radadiya contested and won against the party-backed Bipin Patel in the IFFCO elections. This incident has amplified the scrutiny and strategic maneuvers within the party, especially in positions tied closely to agriculture and rural development.

Adding to the cooperative sector’s dynamic shifts, Dilip Sanghani, who replaced Bharwad in the Gujarat legislative assembly, was also elected unopposed as the chairman of IFFCO. Sanghani’s appointment aligns with the party’s broader strategy to place trusted and experienced individuals in key cooperative roles, ensuring alignment with BJP’s agricultural policies.

NAFED, established in 1958, plays a pivotal role in the agricultural economy of India. The federation works to promote cooperative marketing of agricultural produce to benefit farmers and consumers alike. Under Bharwad’s leadership, expectations are high for enhanced efficiency, farmer welfare initiatives, and innovative marketing strategies that could drive substantial growth in the sector.

In his acceptance speech, Bharwad expressed gratitude for the trust placed in him by the board members and reiterated his commitment to strengthening the cooperative movement in India. He highlighted the importance of NAFED in ensuring fair market prices and promised to advocate for policies that support farmers’ interests and sustainable agricultural practices.