Guwahati, January 8 (IANS): The government of Assam and the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) on Friday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to form a joint venture to execute a Rs 2,000 crore project to process 10 lakh liters of milk per day for the benefit of 1.75 lakh dairy farmers in the state.
After signing the MoU, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said six new milk processing units would be set up over seven years to increase the income of dairy farmers.
In the six new milk processing units on offer, milk from more than 4,100 dairy cooperative societies will be processed, packaged and marketed.
As part of this dairy development project, more than 15,000 high-yielding Gir cows will be introduced into Assam to ensure higher incomes for dairy farmers. The plan also provides for the establishment of infrastructure for the manufacture of feed and silage within Assam.
As part of this Memorandum of Understanding, which was signed in the presence of the Union Minister of Fisheries, Livestock and Dairy Products, Parshottam Rupala, two manufacturing units for animal feed and organic manure would also be put in place.
The importation of high-yielding cattle breeds and artificial insemination would also be adopted.
The foundation stone for Purabi Dairy’s expansion project under the World Bank-funded Assam Agribusiness and Rural Transportation Project was also laid on Friday, which would increase its production capacity from 60,000 liters of milk per day to 1 , 5 lakh liter per day.
Stating that dairy farmers would benefit from a subsidy for fluctuating market prices of their products, the chief minister urged all dairy cooperatives to engage in healthy competition for economic growth in Assam.
He also insisted on multiculture and diversification of farming practices with hard work and dedication.
“With this project, Aatmanirbhar Assam’s mission begins in earnest and we are confident of minimizing our dependence on other states for milk and other food products. With the growth in GDP and per capita income in Assam, people’s spending on meat and dairy products Assam must become self-sufficient to meet its own needs without depending on other states to stop the outflow, ”Sarma stressed.
Assam’s Agriculture Minister Atul Bora also spoke at the program, which was attended by Mizoram Veterinary Minister K. Beichhua and NDDB Chairman Meenesh Shah, among others.