Union Minister Radha Mohan Singh said that in Meghalaya cooperatives can play an important role in the development of the people and the Centre is determined to strengthen the cooperatives of the State in different sectors through NCDC.
Singh lamented that there are cooperatives in only 97 villages out of the 6449 villages of Meghalaya, while there can be cooperative societies in 60 per cent of the total villages. Acknowledging the potential of the state for agriculture and related sectors, he vowed to change this.
The Minister also announced a project of Rs 215 crores for igniting Meghalaya Milk Mission in Shillong. NCDC will help the dairy sector by utilizing the fund for various training programmes under dairy farm, opening of chilling centre and the purchase of milch animal.
The project consists of 2000 dairy farm units, 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. The launch of the Mission, the minister said, will benefit Meghalaya immensely.
The minister said that the Meghalaya Milk Mission has been conceptualized 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 norm, the minister said that the Milk Mission will enable the state to substitute the import of milk with the state’s own production.
Milk Mission will generate alternate livelihoods for the rural people of Meghalaya through diary sector; 2000 farmers will be directly benefitted by this Mission over the next four years, he said.
The Minister also informed that Integrated Cooperative Development Project (ICDP) project for the entire State, computerization of primary co-operatives and the possibilities of starting an integrated piggery value chain project are being explored.
Acknowledging the immense possibilities of handicraft, handloom, organic, farming, forest produce, horticulture, processing of fruits and vegetables, animal husbandry, poultry, fisheries, tourism etc, the minister said that the Central Government is looking forward to providing assistance to State cooperatives in these areas through NCDC.
Those present on the occasion included Governor of Meghalaya Shri Ganga Prasad, Deputy Chief Minister and Minister of (AH&Vety) Prestone Tynsong, MD of NCDC Sundeep Kumar, president of the Shillong Milk Union and cooperators of various Dairy cooperative of the state, among others. A bull fair was also organised in the venue in line with the launching of the Meghalaya Milk Mission.