Govt eyes cooperative societies for successful implementation of milk & piggery missions

Shillong, Feb 24: The state government has encouraged formation of cooperative societies for the successful implementation of the milk and piggery missions in the state.

Deputy Chief Minister in-charge Animal Husbandry & Veterinary, Prestone Tynsong said on Monday that the government has decided to change the model of the milk and piggery missions by encouraging people to form cooperative societies.

“What made us to take this decision is because you must be aware that before election, (former chief minister) Mukul Sangma had distributed two cows for each beneficiary free of cost. But after the election, I tried to find the cows but they are nowhere to be found. This means that people may have sold them or have used them for consumption. That is why, there is no meaning to give free of cost as it will only be a one day affair,” he said.

In order to increase the income generation of the families, Tynsong said, the government wanted to concentrate on how to achieve sustainable livelihood activities (through such missions) by encouraging cooperative societies.

Tynsong said accordingly, the department has come up with a new business model where 70 per cent will be a soft loan, 25 per cent will be given as subsidy, and 5 per cent will be from own contribution while interest rate will be at 4 or 4.5 per cent annually.

“The new business model is prepared to bring about sustainable livelihood to the people (and will to a great extent address the unemployment problem),” he said while urging the cooperative societies to take advantage of this opportunity provided by the government.

Stressing on the need to hold workshops to create awareness on the importance of such missions, Tynsong said the government will provide technical know how and training to the people.

The deputy chief minister also informed that he would convene a meeting with officers of the piggery mission and AH&V department on February 27. “I will issue direction that all assistant registrars of the cooperative society that they should work hard and make people understand on the importance of the business model (by holding workshops throughout the state),” he said.

According to him, workshops on the milk mission have been held in almost all places and very soon implementation will start.

Asked, he said the cooperative societies will have to come up with annual action plan. “How many will be benefited will depend on the annual action plan submitted by them. However, for big cooperative society, we may give up to Rs 25 lakh loan,” he said.

Earlier, there were only 46 cooperative societies in Meghalaya. He however said the number has increased to 120 within a short span of time adding this is because of the close coordination between the department and the cooperative society.

To a question, Tynsong said the National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) has sanctioned Rs 220 crore for milk mission and Rs 205 crore for the piggery mission in the state.

On the other hand, the deputy chief minister said the government had also allowed the East Khasi Milk Union to run the central dairy in Mawiong. “The production capacity of the dairy is 50,000 litres of milk per day but the present collection is only 12,000 litres whereas the requirement in Shillong city is not less than 1 lakh litres a day and due to this we have to depend on imported milk,” he said. He however said there is no question of shortage if people are ready to take up the milk mission seriously and as an opportunity to increase their income generation since the market is already there.

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