New Delhi, October 8: The Sikkim Cooperative Milk Producers’ Union Ltd. has been adjudged as the Best Performing Dairy Cooperative from East and North-East regions by National Cooperative Dairy Federation of India (NCDFI) during the Cooperative Dairy Conclave 2022 of the Eastern and Northeastern regions, organised by NCDFI and Sikkim Cooperative Milk Producers’ Union at Manan Kendra in Gangtok today.
The NCDFI Award was received by Secretary, Animal Husbandry, Government of Sikkim cum Managing Director, Sikkim Cooperative Milk Producers’ Union Ltd., Dr. P. Senthil Kumar, and Chairman, Yam Kumar Sharma, through the hands of Minister of Home Affairs and Cooperation, Government of India, Amit Shah, who was attending the day-long conclave as chief guest, alongside the guest of honour, Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang.
The daily milk production in Sikkim is around 2.30 Lakh litres per day of which over 50000 LPD is procured and processed by Sikkim Milk Union. Sikkim Milk Union has been supplying Milk and Milk products to the Army since 2008.The Sikkim Milk Union has been delivering around 18000 litres of milk per day, along with milk products like butter and paneer. In recognition of its performance, Sikkim Milk Union was selected as the best-performing State in the Eastern and North Eastern region.
The second and third positions for the NCDFI Award for the Best Performing Dairy Cooperative from East and North-East regions were secured by West Assam Milk Union (Wamul) and Mother Dairy, Kolkata, West Bengal, respectively.
Similarly, Bihar Milk Federation, Jharkhand Milk Federation, Dimapur Dist. Co-operative Milk Producers’ Union Ltd., Orissa Milk Federation and Bhagirathi Co-operative Milk Producers’ Union Ltd. have received the active participation award from East and North-East regions by the NCDFI during the conclave.
The Union Minister and the Chief Minister were accompanied on the dais by Minister of Cooperation, GoS, Sonam Lama, Minister of Education, GoS, K.N. Lepcha, Minister of Agriculture, AH&VS and Horticulture, Lok Nath Sharma, Chief Secretary, GoS, V.B. Pathak, Secretary, Ministry of Cooperation, GoI, Gyanesh Kumar, Chairman, National Dairy Development Board, Meenesh Shah, NCDFI Chairman, Mangal Jit Rai, Chairman, India Tourism Development Corporation, Dr. Sambit Patra, and other dignitaries.
The programme also had the presence of the Speaker, Deputy Speaker, State Cabinet Ministers, MLAs, Advisors and HoDs along with 1200 delegates from 12 Eastern and Northeastern States.
Addressing the day-long dairy conclave, Union Minister of Home Affairs and Cooperation, Amit Shah, applauded the excellent performance of the Himalayan State of Sikkim in developing initiatives to empower farmers, women, and dairy cooperatives to boost the rural economy. He congratulated the State for achieving the NCDFI Award for the best-performing dairy cooperative from the Eastern and NE region and highlighted the resilience of Sikkim in persevering through barriers in the face of any given crisis.
The Union Minister said that primary agricultural credit societies (PACS) will be set up in every village in the country over the next five years, which will be highly beneficial for the NE States. At present, 65,000 active PACS are working in the country, he added.
He said that at present, 9.3 lakh crore value milk production is recorded in India and added that a target has been fixed to increase milk production to the value of 13 lakh crore in the next five years. He further added that livestock population will also be expanded to seven crores in the next five years, while it is estimated to be around two crores in the country now.
Sharing the immense scope and demand for the export of milk and dairy products to the neighbouring countries of Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lanka, the Union Minister shared that dairy products market worth 13 lakh crore is recorded presently and added that a target has been fixed to increase the dairy market to the tune of Rs. 21 lakh crore.
He stressed the need to strengthen the dairy cooperative movement by increasing and ensuring women’s participation in dairying activities. He said that the dairy cooperative movement needs to be resilient and stand firm in the face of adversity. Although 70% of the milk business is transacted in the unorganised sector, targets have been set to reduce it to 20% over the next five years, he added.
Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang, in his brief address, highlighted various flagship programmes of the State and Central government developed to boost the rural economy and mentioned the financial incentive of Rs. 8 per litre of milk initiated by the State government to augment dairy production as a historical milestone achieved in the dairy sector in Sikkim. Speaking about the increase in milk production, the Chief Minister said that Sikkim has become the number one producer and has been exporting milk to several other States in recent years.
He also informed about the State government’s efforts to encourage youths to embrace farming and agricultural practices, which has vast potential and can be a great source of income. He further applauded the Sikkim Cooperative Milk Producers’ Union Ltd. for the excellent work they have been doing in the dairy sector and added that the State government with the support of the Central government, will provide support and resources required for the upgradation of dairy infrastructure while also tapping into scientific interventions to transform the dairy sector.
The Union Minister also released the NCDFI Coffee Table Book and inaugurated Phase I and kick-start Phase II of the Mature Management Project.