Guwahati, Jan 8 (IANS) The Assam government and the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) on Friday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to set up a joint venture company to execute a Rs 2,000 crore project aiming to process 10 lakh litres of milk per day benefiting 1.75 lakh dairy farmers of the state.
After signing the MoU, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that six new milk processing units would be set up in seven years to increase the earnings of the dairy farmers.
In the six new proposed milk processing units, milk from more than 4,100 dairy cooperative societies will be processed, packed and marketed.
As part of this dairy development project, more than 15,000 high milk-yielding Gir cows will be inducted into Assam to ensure higher returns to the dairy farmers. The plan also envisages the setting up of infrastructure for cattle feed and silage manufacturing within Assam.
Under this MoU, which was signed in the presence of Union Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying Minister Parshottam Rupala, two cattle-feed and organic manure manufacturing units would also be set up.
Import of high yielding cattle breeds and artificial insemination would also be taken up.
The foundation stone for Purabi Dairy expansion project under World Bank-funded Assam Agribusiness and Rural Transportation Project was also laid on Friday, which would increase its production capacity from the existing 60,000 litres of milk per day to 1.5 lakh litres per day.
Stating that dairy farmers would be provided subsidy for market price fluctuation of their produce, the Chief Minister urged all dairy cooperatives to engage in healthy competition for economic growth of Assam.
He also stressed on multi cropping and diversification of agricultural practices with hard work and dedication.
“With this project, the mission of Aatmanirbhar Assam begins in real earnest and we are confident of minimising our reliance on other states for milk and other food products. With growth of GDP and per capita income in Assam, people’s spending on meat and milk products has increased. Assam must become self-reliant in meeting its own requirement without depending on other states to stop the revenue outflow,” Sarma pointed out.
Assam Agriculture Minister Atul Bora also spoke at the programme, which was attended by Mizoram Veterinary Minister K. Beichhua and NDDB Chairman Meenesh Shah, among others.