NDDB's developmental initiatives to boost rural Bengal's economy: Chair Dilip Rath
Kolkata: DilipRath, Chairman, National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), laid the foundation stone for a model DCS building of Chowrangi Women Dairy Cooperative Society (Basanti, South 24 Paraganas district) in the presence of Manturam Pakhira, Minister of State, Sundarban Affairs (Independent Charge), Govt of West Bengal, Parash Dutta, Chairman, West Bengal Cooperative Milk Producers' Federation Ltd and Anil Verma, Principal Secretary, Animal Resources Development, Govt of West Bengal.
The women milk producers of Chowrangi WDCS believe that dairying is not only a tool for women's liberation, but can also boost up the rural economy. Speaking at the event in Sonarpur, Rath said that West Bengal needs to diversify from traditional agriculture to dairy farming and allied activities on a large scale.
NDDB plans to adopt this DCS to make it a model dairy cooperative society. The DCS is affiliated to Sundarban Cooperative Milk & Livestock Producers' Union Ltd. Presently, 61 pourer members pours around 104 litres of milk to the society. Apart from milk, Sona mung dal, Dhudheswar rice, Govindobhog Rice, indigenous hen and duck eggs are being procured at Chowrangi DCS.
Keeping in view the role of digital innovation in strengthening cooperative business, NDDB has developed an integrated Automatic Milk Collection System (AMCS) software for dairy cooperatives. On the request of West Bengal Govt, NDDB has installed AMCS software in DCSs affiliated to Sundarban Cooperative Milk and Livestock Producers' Union Ltd. While launching the software, Chairman, NDDB said that apart from introducing transparency in operations the software will improve process efficiency and provide real time information to dairy cooperatives. AMCS enables milk bill payment directly to farmers' bank accounts. Farmers get instant SMSs for every transaction and have access to all past transactions with AMCS android application.
Focusing on the event theme Sustainable Development through Women Dairy Cooperative, Rath said that dairy cooperatives should come forward to create new opportunities for self-employment in the rural areas. NDDB has been making continuous efforts towards a number of such interventions. It could either be dairy based, agriculture or allied as resources for the same are easily available in rural areas.Experts from NDDB highlighted techniques of ethno veterinary medicine (EVM).
Chairman, NDDB visited the Chowrangi Women DCS at Basanti and interacted with the women milk producers. He also observed EVM demonstration, functional flexi biogas plants and integrated farming system.
In terms of value of output, milk is the single largest agricultural commodity in India. NDDB has been undertaking several initiatives for transforming dairying into an instrument for the development of India's rural people. Today more than 1.66 crore milk producers affiliated to about 1.86 lakh cooperative societies/producer institutions are being benefited from the dairy cooperative movement in the country. West Bengal has always been active participant to the schemes being implemented by NDDB.
Presently, 14 functional milk unions collectively procure about 188 thousand Kg of milk per day from 258000 milk producers covering over 4000 dairy cooperative societies.
State's milk production grew at about 2.7 per cent compared to nation's 4.9 per cent in last 10 years. As on March 2018, West Bengal's cooperative infrastructure includes 164 BMCs, 12 chilling centres and 11 dairy plants.
Under NDDB's National Dairy Plan I (NDP I), 26 sub projects of 10 End Implementing Agencies (EIAs) are under implementation with the total grant assistance of Rs. 43.25 Crore. The EIAs are Bhagirathi Milk Union, PaschimBanga Go-SampadBikashSanstha, Icchamati Milk Union, Kishan Milk Union, Kangsaboti Milk Union, Howrah Milk Union, Midnapore Milk Union, Sundarban Milk Union, Kullick Milk Union and Manbhum Milk Union.