Assam's women dairy farmers on way to empowerment

Guwahati: Nayanmoni Bharali of Assam’s Hojai started her venture of animal husbandry six years ago with just one cow. Today, she sells 80-85 litres of milk daily, earning a revenue of Rs 10 lakh per year.

She is among the 6,800 women dairy farmers who have empowered themselves with animal farming and scripted success for West Assam Milk Producers’ Cooperative Union Ltd (WAMUL), the largest in the state.

Bharali, a member of Udali Bamungaon Dughda Utpadak Samabay of well-known Purabi Dairy, said she now is financially independent with her venture.

“I now have 12 cows. I earned knowledge and skill to improve milk production through different training programmes, which were organised by Purabi Dairy. I am thankful to the cooperative for providing me a market to sell the farm’s produce, which gives me an annual turnover of around Rs 10 lakh. I feel proud today as an independent woman dairy farmer,” she said.

Another milk farmer Pranita Dutta, who is the president of Nalbari’s Anantagiri Mahila DCS, claimed that WAMUL has uplifted her life and helped her and other entrepreneurs maintain a better livelihood.

“Since my association with the cooperative, I have been able to take care of my family and this has boosted my confidence,” she said.

Dutta also emphasised on the need to educate every woman so that they can build a strong foundation to become financially independent in the future.

West Assam Milk Producers’ Cooperative Union Ltd managing director Satyabrata Bose said the entity celebrated International Women’s Day on March 8 with a focus on ‘Power of W-Women of WAMUL’ to acknowledge and appreciate their contributions to the dairy sector.

“They have come forward to break the bias, the theme of International Women’s Day this year. They play a crucial role across all the operations of WAMUL. Right from dairy farmers to various departments such as procurement, human resources, purchase, training and development, marketing, veterinary executive and operations at a liquid milk processing plant, women have made their contributions in every segment, helped WAMUL become the biggest milk cooperative in the region,” Bose said.

Of over 16,000 dairy farmers associated with the entity, 6,800 are women, he said.

At least 18 of 28 female employees at WAMUL are in leadership roles in various disciplines, Bose added.

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