Shri Meenesh Shah, Chairman, NDDB's address at Diamond Jubilee function of Ajarpura DCS - 20th December, 2022

Address by Shri Meenesh Shah, Chairman, NDDB at Diamond Jubilee function of Ajarpura DCS

20th December, 2022

I am glad to be part of this historic day and momentous occasion commemorating 75 Years of formation of Ajarpura Dairy Cooperative Society. I call it historic because Ajarpura village is part of history and folklore of our great organization. It is in Ajarpura, where our Late Prime Minister Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri had stayed overnight which ultimately paved way for the formation of National Dairy Development Board.

I vividly remember there was a time when our country used to rely heavily on imports for meeting its demand of milk. Thanks to millions of landless, small & marginal dairy farmers of our country, who have collectively made India not only self-sufficient in milk production but also the world’s leading milk producer. Today, India is contributing about 20% of the world milk production.

The seeds of this journey of dependency to self-sufficiency in terms milk production in the country was sown in Ajarpura village. Organisations like Amul & NDDB have been at the forefront of spreading the dairy movement across the country. We have travelled far and on this 75th anniversary we should reflect, introspect and be ready to face the future challenges.

To sustain dairying socially, economically and environmentally it is important to bring circularity in our efforts which ensures climate resilience and at the same time augments farmer income. Activities like Honey Bee, Manure Management, using solar to meet energy needs, scientific fodder production, promotion of enthno-veterinary medicines etc should be implemented in an integrated manner to provide maximum benefits to the farmers.

It is about time that Anand becomes the gateway for another dairy revolution which is climate smart. NDDB interventions in the nearby villages of Mujhkuwa and Zakariyapura have become examples for replication across the country. 

Therefore, I was most happy when Ms Gayatri Patel -Chairman Ajarpura DCS accompanied by her Board met me to request for guidance to take up dairy development and other interventions for the benefit of dairy farmers and villagers at large.

We were pleased to extend our support to create vibrancy in the village for dairying and allied interventions. NDDB has recently completed the enumeration survey of Ajarpura Village to ascertain the nature and scope of interventions etc. A multidisciplinary team has also been made to plan a roadmap for interventions and engagements in Ajarpura village. The team based on initial visits has suggested various training/ capacity building programs e.g. Farmers orientation Program, Training of Board Members, Awareness on the EVM concept, Ethnoveterinary demo plot establishment, Training on Hoof Management, Exposure demonstration visit to Fodder Unit etc. to be initiated in the near future. We have also started a pilot with 26 farmers from Ajarpura village to implement Agroforestry. Similar initiatives will be planned with farmers based on feasibility and aimed towards augmenting the income. 

NDDB assures the members and farmers of Ajarpura DCS that NDDB will be actively providing support and guidance to the DCS for sustaining the spirit of dairying in the relevant time. Together with support from AMUL and GCMMF & other agencies present here we will strive towards preserving the legacy of this village and work towards establishing Ajarpura as a “Live Lab” of interventions which becomes a model for the dairy community at large to emulate.

I once again thank you all for inviting me to be part of this celebration. It was a pleasant experience to go down the memory lane during the walkathon and then visiting the exhibition room.