Chief Minister of Assam Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma unveils expanded dairy plant of Purabi Dairy managed by NDDB

Purabi Dairy managed by NDDB
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Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Assam, unveiled the expanded dairy plant of West Assam Milk Producers’ Cooperative Union Ltd. popularly known as Purabi Dairy at an inauguration event organised at its premises in Panjabari, Guwahati. The Hon’ble CM was the Chief Guest of the event that was also graced by Shri Atul Bora, Minister of Agriculture & AHVD, Govt. of Assam, Smt. Nandita Gorlosa, Minister of Cooperation, Govt. of Assam and Dr Meenesh Shah, Chairman, National Dairy Development Board.

The event also saw the attendance of Dr B Kalyan Chakravarthy, Principal Secretary to the Govt. of Assam, Cooperation Dept., Shri Manish Thakur, Principal Secretary to the Govt. of Assam, Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Dept., Shri Virendra Mittal, Commissioner & Secretary to the Govt. of Assam, Agriculture Dept. and State Project Director, ARIAS Society, Shri Narayan Konwar, Secretary to the Govt. of Assam, Cooperation Dept. and Registrar of Cooperative Societies, Govt. of Assam and  Shri Rituraj Bora, Secretary to the Govt. of Assam, Cooperation Dept. Besides, key officials and large number of farmer members of dairy cooperative societies were present during the event.

Purabi Dairy managed by NDDB

Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Assam, after unveiling the first batch of Purabi Ice Creams said: “This ice cream tastes great as it is made from milk produced by the dairy farmers of Assam. Today, through this new plant, the capacity of milk processing will increase to 1.5 lakh litre. The increased capacity will help the thousands of dairy farmers in the state who will get better market access through this initiative. The Assam Government has formed a JV company with NDDB and with today’s inauguration, the company has launched its first commercial product.”

“The state government from next year has decided to provide Rs 5 additional benefit on each litre of milk to the dairy farmers of the state in the organized sector. This will be over and above the already existing rate given by the different dairy cooperatives. Through this, we are providing additional support to the farmers who through various interventions like sex-sorted breed, artificial insemination, etc. are already increasing their yield,” Chief Minister Dr. Sarma announced. The Chief Minister, Dr. Sarma also announced WAMUL’s decision to increase the basic milk procurement price by Rs.1/- per liter i.e. from Rs.39/- per liter to Rs.40/- per liter at 4% Fat and 8.5% SNF with effect from 01st March 2024.

The Chief Minister informed that the state government will release funds for development of milk processing units in Jorhat and Dibrugarh. “Along with today’s new plant at Purabi Dairy here and the two new units at Jorhat and Dibrugarh, the new JV company will also construct units in Barak Valley, Lakhimpur-Dhemaji and Nagaon. These 6 units will further satisfy the demand of milk and allied products in the state,” Dr Sarma said.

Purabi Dairy managed by NDDB

Under the management of NDDB since 2008, Purabi Dairy has grown in leaps and bounds. From a meager milk procurement volume of 400 Kg per day currently it has reached volumes of over 60,000 Kg per day covering around 30,000 dairy farmers that are organised into 800 plus dairy cooperative societies across 21 districts in lower, central and upper parts of Assam. The milk procurement network primarily revolves around a transparent milk collection, measurement and payment system through installations of automatic milk collection systems at the dairy cooperative societies. Then suitable milk chilling infrastructure (to the tune of 1.22 lakh liters per day capacity) has been created at remote locations to maintain the quality of raw milk that is brought through road milk tankers to the milk processing plant of Purabi Dairy located at Guwahati.

Addressing the gathering, Minister of Agriculture & AHVD, Shri Atul Bora, said that state government has been providing all the needed support to NDDB to scale up the production of milk and help dairy farmers in the state. “Today Assam has crossed 1 lakh litre of milk production. This is a good development for the dairy section in the state. Our Chief Minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma has taken forward a grand plan and today’s inauguration is a big step towards this roadmap of Aatmanirbhar Assam. This new plant, setup at the cost of approx. Rs 49 crore, will further boost the dairy sector,” Shri Bora said.

The milk processing plant of Purabi Dairy plays a significant role in manufacturing of fresh packed milk and various value added products such as paneer, curd, flavored milk, cream, ghee etc. At present milk and milk equivalent of products worth of around 1.05 lakh liters are being sold in the market. Over the years this processing plant has become the single largest revenue center of WAMUL enabling it to attain sales turnover of over Rs 200 crore during the financial year ending March 2023. This is the highest revenue turnover reported by WAMUL since its inception. Further, the processing plant has catapulted WAMUL into the bracket of dairies that are consistently selling a daily quantity of over 1,00,000 litres of milk and milk equivalent of products.

In his address, Dr Meenesh Shah, Chairman, National Dairy Development Board & WAMUL said that the new plant will enable processing of 1.5 lakh litres of milk. Earlier we used to process 60,000 litres of milk per day. The new plant will have the capacity to produce 10 MT of curd per day, 10,000 litres of lassi per day, and 2 tonnes of paneer per day. We will be able to meet the additional demand though this new plant. We have also set up an ice cream plant in this new processing plant and 2000 litres of ice-cream, of various flavours, will also be produced,” Dr Shah said.

Previously, value-added milk products constituted 9-12% of the sales turnover for Purabi Dairy; this is now expected to increase to 20-25%. This increase will provide a tremendous impetus in terms of higher returns for the dairy farmers associated with the brand ‘Purabi’.

Dr Shah further stated that the expanded processing plant facility has been installed with Concentrated Solar thermal System to harness 10 lakh Kcal of energy. In simpler terms, this energy will translate into direct savings to the extent of Rs. 4.0 lakhs per month in fuel cost. The capacity expansion project of Purabi Dairy was implemented by NDDB under the World Bank aided Assam Agribusiness and Rural Transformation Project (APART) at a cost of around Rs 49 crore.

Govt. of Assam and NDDB has been instrumental in bringing dairy development in Assam through cooperatives. They have arranged financing of many dairy development interventions under various central and state funded schemes. The noteworthy among all such schemes is the World Bank aided Assam Agribusiness and Rural Transformation Project (APART) funded by Govt. of Assam to strengthen the formal dairy sector in Assam through the “Purabi Dairy” model.

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