Assam Govt & NDDB signs MoU for holistic dairy development in state

Assam Govt & NDDB signs MoU for holistic dairy development in state

MoU signed by Chairman, NDDB & Additional Chief Secretary, Govt of Assam in presence of Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma, Hon’ble CM of Assam, Shri Parshottam Rupala, Hon’ble Union Minister & Shri Atul Bora, Hon’ble Assam Minister

Anand, January 7, 2022: With the vision of transforming the rural landscape of Assam through dairy farming, Government of Assam and National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for creation of a joint venture for the dairy sector’s holistic development on January 7, 2022 at Srimanta Sankardeva International Auditorium in Guwahati. The foundation stone of Purabi Dairy expansion project was also laid. 

The MoU was signed by Shri Meenesh Shah, Chairman, NDDB and Shri Maninder Singh, Additional Chief Secretary, Dept. of Cooperation, Govt. of Assam in presence of Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Assam, Shri Parshottam Rupala, Hon’ble Union Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying, Shri Atul Bora, Hon’ble Minister for Agriculture, AHVD and Cooperation, Govt. of Assam, Dr K Beichhua, Hon’ble Minister for Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Mizoram and Shri Atul Chaturvedi, Secretary, Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Govt. of India. The event was also attended by many senior government officials, concerned agencies and dairy farmers.

In his address, Dr Sarma said that the target of this joint venture will be to create milk processing capacities to handle and add value to over 10 lakh litres of milk every day. This will not only help more than 1.75 lakh farmers to alleviate their incomes but will also create huge employment at various levels of the milk value chain. The joint venture will setup six dairy processing facilities across Assam, wherein milk from more than 4100 Dairy Cooperative Societies shall be processed, packed and marketed.

Shri Rupala mentioned that the new initiative will lead to higher returns for the local dairy farmers, which is a step towards the aim of “Doubling Farmers’ Income” envisioned by Hon’ble Prime Minister. He further said, as part of this dairy development project, more than 15000 high milk-yielding Gir cows will be inducted into Assam to ensure higher returns to the state’s dairy farmers. The plan also envisages setting up infrastructure for Cattle Feed and Silage manufacturing within Assam. He stressed on the need for breed improvement of cattle through technology.

Shri Bora said that Government of Assam will ensure financial aid and support to the planned interventions through the concerned departments with backing of Government of India’s various schemes. This joint venture will be guided, mentored & managed by NDDB.

Shri Chaturvedi informed that the Govt of India focuses on sustainability in the dairy sector while taking into account the environmental, nutritional and socio-economic aspects of dairying. Technological interventions and innovations will usher in not only improvement in productivity but also encourage entrepreneurship. He said that Assam has the potential to become the growth hub for fodder cultivation, which can eventually meet the fodder requirement of fodder deficit states.

Shri Shah said that NDDB will introduce technological innovations like sex-sorted semen, Ration Balancing Programme, Ethno veterinary medicine and manure management projects. NDDB and Government of Assam have played a significant role in applying a broad spectrum of innovations across the dairy value chain leading to the growth of dairy sector at current levels.

Shri Maninder Singh, Additional Chief Secretary, Dept. of Cooperation, Govt. of Assam stated that the joint venture’s operations shall be self-sustainable, wherein the initial infrastructure shall be financially aided and supported under various schemes of the State and Central Governments for development of cooperative dairying.

During the event, Dr Sarma and Shri Rupala also laid the foundation stone of Purabi Dairy expansion project under World Bank-funded Assam Agribusiness & Rural Transportation Project (APART). As part of the expansion project, Purabi Dairy’s processing capacity shall be upgraded from the existing 60,000 litres per day to 1.5 lakh litres of milk per day. The expansion of the plant at Panjabari in Guwahati will enable Purabi Dairy to increase the production capacity of existing line of products as well as introduce new products like indigenous sweets, ice cream, flavoured milk etc.

During the post-lunch session, Shri Rupala chaired an interactive session with ministers and representatives of various North-eastern states, government officials, entrepreneurs and farmers. The session was aimed at creating awareness and apprising about the benefits of the revised and realigned schemes of Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Govt. of India. It highlighted various avenues for providing better livelihood to the farmers and help empower the rural economy & growth of the north east region.

NDDB has been managing West Assam Milk Producers’ Cooperative Union Ltd. since 2008 and at present WAMUL stands as an exemplary model of a successful dairy cooperative. WAMUL’s management and success so far also shows the importance of transparency and consistency – be it in milk procurement, direct payment to the bank accounts of producers and establishing and expanding markets. Over the years WAMUL has grown from strength to strength in ensuring remunerative market to dairy farmers, besides providing quality-based value-added products to consumers. The union has achieved a sales of around 73,000 litres of packed liquid milk and milk equivalent of products every day under its registered brand name ‘Purabi’.