GUWAHATI, Oct 2 - Holding a poor rank in terms of production of dairy products and meat, Assam imports around Rs 1,650 crore worth eggs, meat and milk every year.
Also, according to a recent survey, availability of milk in the State in just 70 ml per day, against the requirement of 300 ml and national average of 167 ml, Commissioner & Secretary (Veterinary) Shyam Jagannathan told The Assam Tribune on the sidelines of a function here today.
An in depth analysis reveals a more worrisome situation. Annual milk production growth is only 1.8 per cent compared to the national average of over 6 per cent and more than 90 per cent of the milk produced is in the informal sector. Similar is the case with egg and meat.
Jagannathan, who was participating in a Gandhi Jayanti programme at the Veterinary Directorate here where a bust of the Father of the Nation was unveiled by Minister Atul Bora, said the Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Department has now undertaken a five-plank strategy in collaboration with AAU to bridge the shortfall by about 30 per cent in the next five years.
�First we intend to rejuvenate the 61 livestock farms in the State under the mentoring of Assam Livestock Agency and National Livestock Mission where demonstration activities would be carried out for capacity augmentation of farmers. A tie-up is being done with NABARD for credit linkage to farmers in a bid to increase productivity. Focus would on breeding hybrid cows whose productivity is much higher than the indigenous ones,� the Commissioner & Secretary said.
The department, he said, is also upgrading its seventeen laboratories not only for disease diagnosis and reporting but also as a nodal point for Food Safety Act stipulations with the purview of animal based food products.
To tone up the department, emphasis is being laid on IT and a new app Dhenu would be launched soon to ensure that precise and current information will be available on demand which help in monitoring as well as decision making. Dhenu will have three modules - functional, admin and add on modules. The function module involves all the service delivery part, scheme implementation, disease monitoring and sale of products, while the admin module deals with asset management, land bank, Inventory management, vehicle management, collaboration with administration matters of establishment, etc., and add-on module includes the GIS application, MIS and dashboard, data analysis helpline, etc.