Assam government signed an agreement with the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) delegating the operational management of the East Assam Milk Producers’ Cooperative Union Limited to the national dairy body.
The agreement was signed by representatives from both sides in presence of chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma at the day-long Northeast Dairy Cooperative Conclave 2022 held at Sankardev Kalakshetra complex in Guwahati on May 11.
Sarma expressed hope that the agreement of handing over operational management of the East Assam Milk Producers’ Cooperative Union Limited would improve the financials of the ailing cooperative body, as happened in the case of Purabi Dairy.
“Just as handing over the management of Purabi Dairy to NDDB in 2008 saved the cooperative body (West Assam Milk Producers’ Cooperative Union) from near collapse, I am sure that today’s decision too would prove decisive in bringing a hugely positive development in the fortunes of the milk producers’ union of eastern Assam,” the CM said.
Referring to the overall daily low milk production of just about 1 lakh litres in the state (against the requirement of nearly 42 lakh litres) in comparison to sates such as Gujarat and Karnataka (with 2 crore litres and 80 lakhs of daily milk production respectively), the chief minister spoke about the various measures already being implemented or in the pipeline to bring about a “White Revolution” in the state.
“We have taken a number of significant steps to bring about a “White Revolution” in the state. Firstly, we have brought a large number of Gir breeds of cows from Gujarat. We plan to take that number to 15,000. Secondly, we are making extensive use of artificial insemination methods so that we have the best offspring of cattle in the state. Thirdly, we are strengthening the cooperative milk production environment by providing the dairy farmers avenues to diversify their markets through initiatives such as today’s signing of the agreement,” the chief minister stated, adding: “Further, we are focused on making Assam a milk-processing hub through investments on milk processing units. Moreover, we are also making attempts at providing affordable veterinary care to dairy framers. This would ensure a healthy livestock population in the state.”
“If we are able to increase the daily milk production to even a million (10 lakh) litres, it would reduce our dependency on milk from outside the state. This would result in considerable monetary gain for our dairy farmers.”
The “Purabi Cattle Feed Plant” at Changsari was also commissioned remotely on May 11 by the chief minister at the event. The cattle feed plant will supply concentrated, nutritious cattle feed to farmers of the state. It is worth noting that the lack of nutritious cattle feed is one of the most contributing factors to low milk yield in the state.
Assam agriculture and animal husbandry minister Atul Bora, lauding the chief minister’s role in bringing about a revolutionary change in the state’s dairy environment, listed out the various initiatives such as cold chain management, and value addition, among others, that have been taken by the government.
He further appealed to the dairy farmers to make the best use of these initiatives so that in days to come, they are in a position to give the farmers of the other states a run for their money in a healthy competitive environment.