SHILLONG: The National Milk Day 2019 was celebrated on Tuesday with a grand function organized by the Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Department along with the Directorate of Dairy Development at the State Central Library here. The theme for this year’s celebration is “Drink Milk Today and Everyday”. Addressing the gathering, Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma said that the National Milk Day is an appropriate celebration to honour the contributions of Dr Verghese Kurien the “Father of the White Revolution”, in transforming the dairy sector and rural livelihood across the country. Stating that the per capita consumption of milk in Meghalaya is only 83 grams as opposed to the national average of 200 grams, the Chief Minister expressed hope that the various initiatives and programmes of the Government to ramp up milk production in the State will transform the dairy sector further adding that increased production and consumption of milk will help secure the nutritional security of children.
“Milk is a very important source of vitamins and protein and it could be one of the answers to combat malnutrition and improve overall health of our children,” he said.
Informing that the total milk production requirement of the State is 2.3 lakh metric tons, of which the State currently produces only 83000 metric tons, the Chief Minister said that the need to fill up the deficit in production is a huge opportunity for dairy farmers in the State.
“In trying to fulfil the production requirement of our State in the dairy sector State we are also creating a very strong institutional setup in terms of cooperative societies which ultimately will give economic benefit to the people’ he said while lauding the efforts of the various dairy cooperatives in the State,” he said.
The Chief Minister also said that the Government has envisioned a roadmap to empower dairy farmers and uplift rural livelihood through various mission mode projects under the dairy sector in the State.
In his address, Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong said that the National Milk Day is celebrated annually in India to make people aware about the nutritional and health benefits of milk.
Stating that the government is committed to improve the dairy sector through various programs and initiatives to increase production, the Deputy Chief Minister informed that the Milk Production Centre at Mawiong has been upgraded to increase production capacity from current 12000 litres to 52000 litres per day and similar upgrades are being planned for dairy plants in Tura and Jowai respectively.
The Deputy Chief Minister also informed that the Government is in the process of setting up a cattle ranch at Mawmerang, South West Khasi Hills on a pilot basis.
Awards were also distributed to outstanding dairy farmers and winners of various competitions at the function.