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New Delhi : Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Radha Mohan Singh on July 29, 2018, said that Meghalaya Milk Mission will facilitate in achieving the Centre’s goal of doubling farmer’s income by 2022 through promotion of milk business in the state.

Announcing a sanctioned project of Rs 215 crore through National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) at the launching programme of Meghalaya Milk Mission at Shillong, Radha Mohan said that the amount will be utilised for various training under dairy farm, chilling centre and purchase of milch animal.

The minister said that the Meghalaya Milk Mission has been conceptualised to plug the demand-supply gap in the per capita milk availability. Stating that the per capita milk availability in Meghalaya is much lower than the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR’s) recommendation of milk consumption per person, the minister said that the Milk Mission will enable the state to substitute the import of milk with the state’s own production, according to a PIB release.

The minister mentioned that there are cooperatives in only 97 villages out of the 6,449 villages of Meghalaya, while there can be cooperative societies in 60% of the total villages. Acknowledging the potential of the state for agriculture and related sectors, the minister said that cooperatives can play an important role in the development of this sector. The minister mentioned that Centre is strengthening the cooperatives of the State working in different sectors through NCDC, which will open new dimensions of employment in the state.

Radha Mohan said that the Milk Mission will generate alternate livelihoods for the rural people of Meghalaya through diary sector. The minister said that the Milk Mission will also check the absence of organised marketing channels in the dairy sector in Meghalaya.

The project consists of 2,000 dairy farm units and in one unit there is provision for purchase of 5 cows, shed constructions, storage room construction, animal insurance, 79 bulk milk coolers of 500 litre capacity, 13 milk tankers of 3000 litre capacity etc. There is also a provision of Rs 1 crore for the training of farmers in the project.

Governor of Meghalaya Ganga Prasad said that the Mission is a comprehensive one with essential components that cover both induction of new cows and development of indigenous cattle by selective breeding. The Governor expressed his satisfaction that the Mission takes care of all aspects of dairy sector including the induction of modern chilling infrastructure. The Governor also expressed his satisfaction over the fact that the state government is considering the creation of a dedicated Meghalaya Dairy Development Agency to take forward the Mission to the last point and deliver the result for the state.

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