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Will Assam ever be self-reliant on milk, egg, fish and meat?

Around Rs, 1,600 crore still goes out of Assam annually due to the mismatch between production and demand of eggs, meat and fish.

milk

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  30 Aug 2022 1:33 AM GMT

Rs 1,600 crore still goes out of Assam annually due to the mismatch between production and demand

STAFF REPORTER

GUWAHATI: Around Rs, 1,600 crore still goes out of Assam annually due to the mismatch between production and demand of eggs, meat and fish.

The State Poultry Development Policy seeks to convert the state from an importer of these three commodities to an exporter from 2019-2024. Though the government helped the local entrepreneurs with funds to set up farms to produce more eggs, meat and fish in the state to make it self-reliant, the state is yet to meet the demand that keeps increasing every day.

Apart from these three commodities, a hefty amount goes out of the state annually to meet the demand for milk and other dairy products. Even now, around 80 per cent of the total milk produced in the state comes from the unorganized sector. The State Government has a tie-up with the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) to augment milk production in the state.

According to Veterinary Department sources, the production of milk, meat and eggs increased hardly by 3 per cent in a decade. "The milk production in the state in 2011-12 was 838 million tonnes that increased to 1,004 million tonnes in 2020-21. Likewise, the number of eggs produced in the state in 2011-12 was 487 million, which increased to 524 million in 2020-21. The meat production in the state in 2011-12 was 34,000 tonnes that increased to 54,000 tonnes in 2020-21," a source in the department said.

According to a survey report, Assam needs around 639 crore eggs and 3882 lakh kg of meat annually. The state can meet only 60 per cent of its meat demand with local production. The state produces around 30 lakh eggs daily, but it has to import another 30 lakh eggs from Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra daily.

Though the state is self-sufficient in fish, the commodity continues to come to the state from outside. The annual fish demand in Assam in 2020-21 was around four lakh MT against the production of 3.93 lakh MT.

It is a good sign that young entrepreneurs of the state have come forward to tap the market in such sectors. They, however, need a leg up in the form of logistic support from the government. Even now, many in the state stick to traditional fish production without making it a commercial venture. Without a dedicated approach from the departments concerned, the state will continue to fall short of becoming self-sufficient in meeting domestic demands.

Also Read: Guwahati: More Pain for Consumers As Milk Prices Rises to Rs. 4 Per Litre

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