Milk Mission envisages to increase production in Meghalaya

SHILLONG, Jul 28: In order to bridge the gap between demand and supply of milk in the state, the state Government on Saturday launched the Meghalaya Milk Mission.

The Meghalaya Milk Mission was launched by Union Agriculture Minister, Radha Mohan Singh along with Governor Ganga Prasad and state deputy chief minister, Prestone Tynsong.

Additional Chief Secretary in-charge Agriculture, Animal Husbandry & Veterinary, KN Kumar while addressing the gathering during the launch of the mission informed that the project is worth Rs 215.48 crore.

According to Kumar, the Meghalaya Milk Mission has three objectives – to plug the gap between the demand and supply in per capita milk availability in the state, to generate an alternative livelihood to the rural people of Meghalaya and to “create, revive and inject” fresh energy into the dairy cooperative movement in the state.

The Mission also aims to build the capacity of the dairy farmers of the state.

The Additional Chief Secretary in-charge Agriculture, Animal Husbandry & Veterinary also informed that 2000 farmers of the state will benefit from the Mission in the next four years and it is targeting to procure around 10,000 high yielding cattle from other parts of the country to boost milk production in the state.

Kumar also informed that as per the 2012 livestock census the state of Meghalaya has 10 lakh cattle out of which only 30,000 are cross bred while the rest are “non-descript”.

“These 30,000 cross breed produced 61 percent of the state’s milk,” Kumar said.

The Additional Chief Secretary, in-charge Agriculture, Animal Husbandry & Veterinary said that Meghalaya’s milk production has increased over the years.

He pointed out that in 2001, the state produced 63,800 metric ton of milk which increased to 82,000 metric ton in 2013 a jump of 26.6 percent.

Kumar also said that Meghalaya has larger number of cows than bulls.

“Bulls consist of only 40 percent while cows make up 60 percent,” the Additional Chief Secretary, in-charge Agriculture, Animal Husbandry & Veterinary said.

Meanwhile, Union agriculture Minister, Radha Mohan Singh said that the government of India realised that only increasing crop production is not enough but there is a need to develop allied activities too.

Singh informed that the per capita consumption of milk in the state was less as compared to the rest of the country.

“All over India the per capita consumption of milk is 355 grams per day per person while in Meghalaya it is only 127 grams per day per person,” The Union Agriculture Minister pointed out.

Meghalaya Governor, Ganga Prasad also spoke on the occasion. Prasad said that Meghalaya’s climate was ideal for cattle rearing.

Meghalaya Governor, Ganga Prasad also spoke on the occasion. Prasad said that Meghalaya’s climate was ideal for cattle rearing.

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