From A Correspondent
Tura, July 24: Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma on Monday said 10,000 families in the State would benefit from the ambitious Livestock Mission, under which Holstein Friesian (HF) high milk-yielding breed of cattle would be given away to the beneficiaries on a “cluster approach”.
Holstein Friesians are a breed of dairy cattle origiting from the Dutch provinces of North Holland and Friesland. They are known as the world’s highest milk yielding variety.
This breed of cattle can produce milk up to 32,740 litres in 365 days. The milking cow eats about 45 kg of feed, which is a combition of hay, grain, silage and proteins such as soybean meal, plus vitamins and minerals.
“5000 families in three blocks of Garo hills and 5000 in three blocks of Khasi-Jaintia hills will benefit from the scheme in the next three years,” Sangma said, while handing over the HF breed of cattle at Ampati in South West Garo Hills.
Six cattle were distributed to six self-help groups (SHGs) of South West Garo Hills formally during the launch of the distribution programme, which would further continue.
He said that each SHG would receive 10 cattle, once they are able to demonstrate that they are capable to provide the required care and attention to the cattle.
The SHGs were all excited to receive the benefit of the scheme, which aims to create livelihood opportunities for the rural farmers.
“The state is facing a major challenge of uncontrolled migration from rural to urban areas in search of livelihood. We want to reverse the trend and ensure livelihood opportunities are available in the backyard. Dairy farming has evolved with technological intervention and we want to make it attractive and ensure a sustaible model for economic prosperity,” said Sangma.
He said a lot of comprehensive interventions have been taken up by the government to provide livelihood opportunities and dairy farming was part and parcel of the Livestock Mission, a programme implemented in collaboration with veteriry and Integrated Basin Development and Livelihood Promotion Programme (IBDLP).
The Chief Minister informed the gathering that the breed has withstood the test of time and has been found to be suitable to be reared by farmers in the State.
“Dairy farming would open up new avenues for other ancillary activities and we would encourage educated youth to take advantage of the programme and leverage upon income generation for their sustained livelihood,” he added.
The breed has the capacity to generate up to 40 liters of milk a day, if properly fed with required nutritiol animal feed.
The Chief Minister said that the farmers would get a minimum of Rs 16,000 a month by rearing each cattle during the milking period.
He also announced, “Government would extend support for collection of milk, distribution and further value addition for production of different milk products.”
He informed that there would be continuous training to handhold the farmers as well as build capacity to for value-addition of milk products. “We would train our youth and farmers to produce handmade chocolates, cheese and other dairy products in Garo hills”.
Sangma exuded confidence that dairy farming would bring about new opportunities based on demand and supply. “We understand that a lot of investment has to be made and we are committed that we would be able to meet the expectation to bring about a turround to boost the dairy industry in Meghalaya,” he added.
Holstein Friesian breed of cattle to boost milk production
From A Correspondent