Describing cooperatives as useful institutions for inclusive growth, President Pratibha Patil emphasised the need to expand their scope by seeking greater participation of women and youths.
The conference was organised by Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited (IFFCO) during the course of the UN International Year of Cooperatives.
She said education institutions should hold courses on cooperatives in their campuses so that youth can develop an understanding and appreciation of the co-operative movement.
Highlighting importance of cooperative, Patil said over one billion people globally are members of one cooperative or another.
In India alone there are over 249 million members of about six lakh cooperative societies in a range of agricultural activities such as credit, fertilisers, production, processing as well as other sectors like housing, dairying and textiles, she added.
Patil said a resounding success of cooperatives in India is its `White revolution` which made the country the world`s largest producer of milk and dairy products.
IFFCO, another cooperative that took shape in 1967 has emerged as the world`s largest cooperative and meets almost one-third demand for fertiliser in the country, she said.