Amidst lockdown Sitajakhala works 24/7

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As the rest of the state goes under for the lockdown, the 62-year-old Sitajakhala Milk Cooperative Society is working round the clock to keep their dairy unit functioning to cater the need of the people of the Guwahati city.

According to the Society Chairman Ranjib Sharma they are producing around 11,000 litre per day and from there they are making value addition and producing curd, cream, paneer, rasgollas and daily turnover is around Rs 7 lakh.

Milk being collected from farmers

Such has been the demand of the Sitajakhala during the lockdown as a brand which produces quality products that their mobile counters are extremely sought after throughout the city besides their main selling points at Khetri and Khanapara.

Mr. Sharma informed that their staff have been working round the clock and he was indebted to the members of the cooperative society who were supplying milk without fail.

“Such is the demand that if we have 30,000 liter of milk we can sell even that also. But so far we are producing around 11000 litre of milk and we are proud of the quality of that” said Mr. Sarma.

Curd Preparation in an incubator

The state of art Sitajakhala dairy unit has all the automated facilities including a deep freezer for milk preservation as well as an incubator for making curd.  They also have installed a plant for mechanized rasgollas which makes  7000 of them per hour. At this moment, Sitajakhala is making 24,000 rasgollas per day.

The packing & pasturising plant

A dedicated team of its MD Amiyo Kumar Roy, Pushpadhar Das and marketing man Satyen Mahnata of Stayen Mahanta..the Connect fame have been camping in a farm near the Sitajakhla dairy in this lock downtime unit to work round the clock.

The Sitajakhala Dugdha Utpadak Samabai Samity Limited (SJDUSSL) was started way back in 1958 to wipe out middlemen in milk business.

The cooperative, which started with only 17 members, now, has over 1,000 members. With the increasing popularity among the masses, the products of the cooperative society have found markets in places like Kamrup, Morigaon and Nagaon districts of Assam.

The Team Sitajakhala

1) Ranjib Sharma (48 years): A farmer and also Chairman of Sitajakhala DUSS Ltd. Actively involved in the cooperative movement since 2005, spearheading the modernization of the activities of Sitajakhala cooperative.

2) Puspadhar Das (46 years), farmer: PGDM from IIM Bangalore and graduate from St Stephens College. He is involved with cooperative dairy movement through Sitajakhala (as Vice-Chairman), in farming and
diversion-based irrigation system development in Baksa and also various livelihood, education,
agriculture-related activities through SeSTA and GVM.

3) Amiya Kumar Roy (50 years): MSc (Agri) from AAU. Engaged in farming (organic, fishery, vermicompost,
horticulture, cash crops, maize, etc.) since 1993. Working as Managing Director of Sitajakhala since
2018.

4) Sayten Mahanta: MBA in Marketing with 27 years of varied marketing experience in the corporate sector. Has started his own venture Satyen Mahanta_the connect as marketing bridge to work as a forward
linkage for produces of Organic/Natural/Ethnic farmers , producers, craftsmen ,weavers etc. Also trying to work as a catalyst to build up an indigenous business community ecosystem. Currently, he is
Marketing Advisor of Sitajakhala DUSS Ltd.

5) Bikash Bharali (39 years): BTEC National Certificate on Agriculture (2002) from Hadlow College, Kent, UK. Internship from Imperial College of London, UK on Pig, Dairy and Goat farm. Dairy entrepreneuer since 2004 having farm in Bokakhat. He is a Technical Expert in the Vision 2020 Sitajakhala team.

6) Dr Manjib Sharma (42 years): After retirement from Indian Airforce in 2015, actively involved in dairy farming. Did his PhD from Jaynarayan Vyas University, Jodhpur. Currently, a dairy farmer and also running a training center for dairy farmers. He is a Technical Expert in the Vision 202 Sitajakhala team.

7) Neelam Dutta (36 years): BSW from IGNOU 2014. Organic farmer, fish seed producer and organic seed breeder/ producer. Working in collaboration with Sativa Rheinau, a Swiss organic seed breeder.

8) Dr Bhaskar Sharma (48 years): MSc (Agri) and PhD in soil science from Chandrasekhar Azad Agriculture University. Working on urban waste management for agriculture purpose.

9) Sanjib Sharma (44 years): MSc (Agri), Technical Advisor, Sitajakhala and currently an Associate Professor in AAU, Jorhat.

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