New Delhi: With the vision of transforming the rural landscape of Assam through dairy farming, Assam Government and National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for creation of a joint venture for the dairy sector’s holistic development on Friday.
The MoU was signed at Srimanta Sankardeva International Auditorium in Guwahati. The foundation stone of Purabi Dairy expansion project was also laid on the occasion.
Speaking on the occasion, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said the joint venture would be to create milk processing capacities to handle and add value to over 10 lakh litres of milk every day.
“This will not only help more than 1.75 lakh farmers to alleviate their incomes but will also create huge employment at various levels of the milk value chain. The joint venture will setup six dairy processing facilities across Assam, wherein milk from more than 4100 Dairy Cooperative Societies shall be processed, packed and marketed,” he said.
Union Minister for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying Parshottam Rupala said the new initiative would lead to higher returns for the local dairy farmers, which is a step towards the aim of “Doubling Farmers’ Income” envisioned by the Prime Minister.
He said as part of the dairy development project, more than 15000 high milk-yielding Gir cows would be inducted into Assam to ensure higher returns to the state’s dairy farmers.
The plan also envisages setting up infrastructure for Cattle Feed and Silage manufacturing within Assam, he said and stressed on the need for breed improvement of cattle through technology.
During the event, Dr Sarma and Mr Rupala also laid the foundation stone of Purabi Dairy expansion project under World Bank-funded Assam Agribusiness and Rural Transportation Project (APART).
As part of the expansion project, Purabi Dairy’s processing capacity would be upgraded from the existing 60,000 litres per day to 1.5 lakh litres of milk per day.
The expansion of the plant at Panjabari in Guwahati will enable Purabi Dairy to increase the production capacity of existing line of products as well as introduce new products like indigenous sweets, ice cream, flavoured milk.
During the post-lunch session, Mr Rupala chaired an interactive session with ministers and representatives of various North-eastern states, government officials, entrepreneurs and farmers.
The session was aimed at creating awareness and apprising about the benefits of the revised and realigned schemes of Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Government. of India.