Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma being greeted by NDDB chairman Meenesh Shah at the conclave in Guwahati on Wednesday.

Guwahati: The Assam government on Wednesday signed a memorandum of understanding with the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) to enhance daily milk production to over a million litres in the state.

Under the MoU, NDDB will look after the managerial operations of East Assam Milk Producers’ Cooperative Union Ltd (in Jorhat) for five years.

“The MoU will benefit a huge number of milk farmers from eastern districts of Assam. We are aiming at increasing daily milk production in the state to over a million litres,” Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma informed.

Earlier, addressing several milk cooperative unions from across the Northeast states at the first-ever North East Dairy Cooperative Conclave 2022 here, Sarma expressed hope that the agreement of handing over of operational management of the East Assam Milk Producers’ Cooperative Union Limited would improve the financials of the ailing cooperative body, as it happened in the case of Purabi Dairy.

“Just as handing over the management of Purabi Dairy to NDDB in 2008 saved the cooperative body (West Assam Milk Producers’ Cooperative Union) from near collapse, I am certain that today’s decision too would prove decisive in bringing a hugely positive development in the fortunes of the milk producers’ union of eastern Assam,” the chief minister said.

The conclave was hosted by West Assam Milk Producers’ Cooperative Union Ltd (WAMUL), popularly known as Purabi Dairy at Sankardev Kalakshetra here in collaboration with the National Cooperative Dairy Federation of India Limited (NCDFI).

Dairy farmer representatives and officials of dairy cooperative unions of Northeast states took part in the conclave. Besides, around 500 dairy farmers from Assam and around 100 farmers from other Northeast states took part in the event.

Representatives from Gomati Cooperative Milk Producers’ Union Ltd (Tripura), Manipur Milk Producers’ Cooperative Union Ltd (Manipur), The Sikkim Cooperative Milk Producers’ Union Ltd (Sikkim), Mizoram Milk Producers’ Cooperative Union Ltd (Mizoram), Dimapur District Cooperative Milk Producers’ Union Ltd (Nagaland), East Khasi Hills District Cooperative Milk Union Ltd (Meghalaya) and Arunachal Pradesh Co-operative Milk Producers’ Union Ltd (Arunachal Pradesh) took an active part in the deliberations.

During the conclave, a cattle feed manufacturing facility of Purabi Dairy was inaugurated by the Assam chief minister.

Addressing the conclave, the chief minister showed optimism regarding dairy development in the region and assured that the people would see a sea change in the dairy sector of the Northeast soon.

NDDB chairman Meenesh Shah, who also graced the occasion, reaffirmed the board’s commitments to dairy development in Assam and the entire Northeast.

He specifically highlighted the responsibility entrusted by the Assam chief minister for widespread dairy development in the state to augment milk production in the state, expand the coverage of dairy cooperatives and at the same time, supply quality and safe milk and milk products to consumers.

Shah also mentioned that the dairy development in the state would be undertaken through various activities such as animal induction, productivity enhancement of existing milch animals supported by scientific feeding and health management, and cooperative institution building in the villages to provide round-the-year market access to dairy farmers and creation of dairy processing infrastructure across the state.

He indicated that these multifaceted interventions will be undertaken by a joint venture between the Assam government and the NDDB.

The conclave discussed various dairy-related schemes, initiatives and interventions, which are proving to be hugely beneficial for the the region’s dairy farmers.

It also highlighted the importance of cooperatives, which are playing a critical role in sustainable dairy farming by small and marginal dairy farmers in the Northeast.

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