NDDB, GCMMF & W20 organises event on Jan Bhagidari - Women-led Sustainable Development through Dairy Cooperatives at NDDB, Anand

NDDB, GCMMF & W20 organises event on Jan Bhagidari - Women-led Sustainable Development through Dairy Cooperatives at NDDB, Anand

Anand, 20th July, 2023: The National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd (GCMMF) and W20 organised a one-day event on Jan Bhagidari - Women-led Sustainable Development through Dairy Cooperatives under W20, an official engagement group of G20 at NDDB, Anand on 20 July 2023.

On the occasion, Shri Jagdish Vishwakarma, Hon’ble Minister of State for Cooperation, Government of Gujarat said that women should take the lead in managing dairies and cooperatives. We need to work for reducing the cost of milk production in order to raise profit and technological interventions will address the challenge of shortage of workers, which our women dairy farmers are aware of. We can think of having community cattle sheds in villages and take up fodder production commercially to tackle fodder scarcity. The pathbreaking initiatives of our Hon’ble PM, Hon’ble Union Minister of Home Affairs & Cooperation and Chief Minister of Gujarat have set the trajectory for women-led development ensuring equity and inclusivity in this sector.

In his video message, Shri Parshottam Rupala, Hon’ble Union Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying advised the delegates to focus on the changing role of women in the dairy sector from women-oriented development to women-led development.

Shri Rupala also said that there are 18 all-women dairy cooperatives and through these women have achieved economic independence and social recognition. The new cooperative policy of Government of India has also set a target of involving more and more women in the cooperative sector.

Ms Alka Upadhyaya, Secretary, Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying (DAHD), Govt of India, Dr Meenesh Shah, Chairman, NDDB, Shri Shamalbhai Patel, Chairman, GCMMF, Dr Sandhya Purecha, Chair of W20, Shri Jayen Mehta, MD, GCMMF, Ms Caroline Emond, Director General, International Dairy Federation (IDF), Ms Margaret Kibogy, MD, Kenya Dairy Board, Ms Bharati Ghosh, Ex-IPS, Shri Vipul Patel, Chairman, Amul Dairy and Ms Dharitri Patnaik, Chief Coordinator, W20 graced the occasion.

About 700 women dairy farmers representing cooperatives/producer organizations from across the country participated along with delegates from USA, France, Italy, UK, Kenya and Argentina, officials of central and state governments, revered institutions related to the dairy sector and other stakeholders.

In her address, Dr Alka Upadhyay, Secretary, DAHD informed that India accounts for 24% of global milk production. It is the collective responsibility of women to ensure better health of livestock because it is directly linked with human health. Timely vaccination must be undertaken, and we must also aspire to become the vaccine hub of the world for animal vaccines. Another key challenge includes balanced nutrition to livestock as well as reduced use of antibiotics. Integrating the service sector with dairying will enable women and younger generation taking up marketing, financing and other activities related to animal husbandry and dairy management in future.

Dr Meenesh Shah, Chairman, NDDB said that we’re fortunate to host so many women leaders from across the country today. Without the contribution of women dairy farmers, Indian dairying wouldn’t have reached the pinnacle of success that we see now. He also congratulated all women achievers for being the beacon of light for millions of women out there who will get motivated by their achievements.

Dr Shah conveyed that NDDB will implement the Zakariyapura model in 25 other locations to set up biogas plants through women’s contribution under the government’s Gobar Se Samriddhi initiative. The Dairy Board will continue to promote inclusive growth of women by ensuring progressive change of role of women dairy farmers from household dairy activities to entrepreneurial and governing roles in dairy cooperatives and other related institutional structures.

Speaking about the immense contribution of women in the dairy sector, Shri Shamalbhai Patel, Chairman, GCMMF, said that Gujarat has played a key role in putting the dairy sector on the global map. Women in the dairy sector are in fact catalyzing the upliftment of the society both economically and socially through their participation. We’re grateful to the Union and State Government’s support and NDDB’s technological guidance to empower, educate and upskill women to adopt sustainable dairying practices to improve yield. We are proud of the fact that about 12 lakh women are associated with GCMMF.

Dr Sandhya Purecha, Chair, W20, said that in line with the vision of Hon’ble Prime Minister, W20 has organised 165 events covering 15 states including task force meetings, Jan Bhagidari meetings and discussions with policy makers. Dairy cooperative model has been long recognised as a successful model in enabling women to become catalysts of sustainable development by providing them market access and augmenting their income.

Shri Jayen Mehta, MD, GCMMF conveyed that Amul is the best example of women-led cooperative development. At the foundation of Amul’s resounding success are the women dairy farmers. India and Amul can set an example for the world on how women are at the centre of the milk revolution across Gujarat and across the country. In fact, 26% women are on the board of various milk unions whereas some 77,000 women (38%) are members of the management committees of village dairy cooperative societies at Amul. I am thankful to W20 for making Amul as an institutional partner.

Ms Bharati Ghosh, Ex-IPS mentioned that she is privileged to be present on this auspicious occasion of Jan Bhagidari. She informed that India is home to 12 million self-help groups, 88% of which are all-women members. A total fund of 5.5 lakh crore has been disbursed, which has opened up a plethora of opportunities for women.

Ms Caroline Emond, DG, IDF; Ms Margaret Kibogy, MD, Kenya Dairy Board; Shri Vipul Patel, Chairman, Amul Dairy and Ms Dharitri Patnaik, Chief Coordinator, W20 also addressed the gathering.

The Jan Bhagidari event highlighted the role of the dairy sector in empowering women through a series of success stories from across the country. Women members of cooperatives/producer organizations shared their journey of resilience. Success stories of women dairy farmers covered key priority areas of W20 – Women Entrepreneurship, Grassroots Women Leadership, Bridging the Gender Digital Divide, Education & Skill Development and Climate Action.

The programme also showcased women achievers from various domains like defence, science and sports - Ms Rahibai Soma Popere, Seed Mother of India; Ms Tessy Thomas, former Director General, Aeronautical System & former Project Director of Agni IV missile, DRDO and Ms Lajja Gauswami, Shooter, International Player, Commonwealth Games medallist.