Singh said that Meghalaya Milk Mission will facilitate the goal of doubling farmers’ incomes by 2022 through promotion of milk business in the state.
Announcing a project of Rs 215 crores ($31.3m) through the NCDC at the launching program of Meghalaya Milk Mission in the state of Meghalaya’s capital, Shillong, last week, the minister said the amount will be utilized for various training for dairy farmers, a chilling center and purchase of cows.
Less imports required
Stating that the per capita milk availability in Meghalaya, which borders Bangladesh in northeast India, is much lower than the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR’s) recommendation of milk consumption per person, the minister said the Milk Mission will enable the state to substitute the import of milk with the state’s own production.
The minister said there are cooperatives in only 97 villages of the 6,449 villages in the state, while there could be cooperative societies in 60% of the total villages. Acknowledging the potential of the state for agriculture and related sectors, the minister said cooperatives can play an important role in the development of the dairy sector over the next four years.
To coincide with the Indian government’s Mission 2022, the NCDC has started Mission Sahakar-22, under which new employment opportunities are to be generated through cooperatives, strengthening farmers’ economic condition by augmenting their income and fast tracking the pace of development in Meghalaya State, the minister said.
Governor of Meghalaya Shri Ganga Prasad said the Mission has essential components that cover both the introduction of new cows and development of indigenous cattle by selective breeding. He added the Mission will cover all aspects of the dairy sector including the purchase of modern chilling infrastructure.
The Governor also said he was pleased the state government is considering the creation of a dedicated Meghalaya Dairy Development Agency to take forward the Mission.
Deputy Chief Minister Shri Prestone Tynsong said the Milk Mission will help address the problem of unemployment in the State and will facilitate self employment.