Shillong, Nov. 26: National Milk Day that was started in 2014 on 26th November to mark the birth anniversary of the father of White Revolution, Dr Verghese Kurien was celebrated in the State for the first time today at State Central Library Auditorium, Shillong which was attended by Deputy Chief Minister incharge Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Department, Prestone Tynsong as the Chief Guest.
Addressing a large gathering of milch farmers, members of milk cooperative societies and school students Chief Guest, P Tynsong said that with the objective of raising awareness among the parents and all stakeholders especially young children about the benefits of consuming milk, the National Milk Day was being celebrated in the State for the first time.
The Deputy Chief Minister also observed that people are generally reluctant to consume milk because it is often found to be adulterated he said that the quality and specifications of the milk need to be strictly adhered to. He also informed that during the current financial year the National Cooperative Development Corporation has funded the State with 215 crores to transform milk production in the State through the Milk Mission that the government launched earlier this year.
He also said that the government is also contemplating of setting up a model ranch in a place in which not less than 95 percent of the population is engaged in cattle rearing. He added that these initiatives of the government would ensure that the people of the State get enough milk every day and urged the students to take a glass of milk daily to reap the numerous benefits of consuming milk.
Earlier, in his Key Note Address, Additional Chief Secretary and Agriculture Production Commissioner, K N Kumar informed that out of the total population of cattle in the State only 3 percent is crossbred the rest are non descript, indigenous and local. He also said that the production of milk has increased from 64 MT from 2001-2002 to 82 MT in the last decade and though milk consumption in the State is low it is increasing by 3 percent every year.
He added that Meghalaya has suitable climate for Dairy farming and dairy industry in the State has plenty of opportunities though the milking skill is not yet developed he said.
He also informed that the Meghalaya Milk Mission will organize dairy cooperatives in the State and equip them with the right skill and knowledge and also induct cattle capable of producing high yield of milk. The Additional Chief Secretary while stressing the need of children to consume milk for nutritional requirements said that milk is an important addition to the traditional diet to ensure nutrition and growth for the children.
Earlier, the Chief Guest also distributed awards to the winners of Outstanding Dairy Farmer, Outstanding Cow, Red FM Online Quiz, Quiz and Essay Competitions which were held as a part of the celebration.
A number of stalls displaying milk products were also set up in the venue. Short play, Theme Song and presentation of a documentary, “All You Need Is Milk”, prepared by the Department of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary and ceremonial handing over of milk to school children by the Chief Guest were some attractions of the celebration.
Also present were Secretary, A H & Vety, Dr C Manjunatha, Director, A H & Vety, Dr C Shilla and Priston Roy Kharbteng, Chairman, Shillong Milk Union.