Crisis in Assam dairy sector

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In the last five years, there has been no significant growth in the public sectors, after the Nagaon and Cachar paper mills, the Assam’s dairy sector is also battling for its existence.

Assam initiated organised development of milk processing way back in the mid 1960s. The total installed capacity of pasteurisation and chilling plants in the State is 159 thousand and 28.5 thousand litres per day, respectively.

The current scenario of the formal milk processing segment in the state is however, grim. The created infrastructure is either largely defunct or grossly under-utilized.

The functional plants are operating at very low level of their installed capacity, have limited product profile, high returns of marketed milk, substantial handling and curdling losses, low productivity of capital and labour and huge operational losses.

In addition, the supporting institutional and infrastructural mechanism has not been put in place and a systematic business and management plan to run the system has not been formulated.

As per reports, Central diary- a military farm in the city was started nearly 130 years ago by the British to supply the India Army with milk products. The government decided to shut the farm down to free up resources – as part of a major military overhaul.

LAKHIMI milk in Lakhimpur district also faced same condition and compelled to shut down its business due to Government’s negligence.

The dairy project of Nagaon, Golaghat also combating for its existence.

The dairy farmers are not getting remunerative price for milk supply. There is also a poor perception of the farmers, due to lack of marketing facilities and extension services, towards commercial dairy enterprise as an alternative to other occupation.

Veterinary health care centres are located in far off places. The ratio between cattle population and veterinary institution is wider, resulting in inadequate health services to animals.

No adequate immunity is established against various cattle diseases.

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