Dairy in the State is characterized by rural smallholder and subsistence production system along with specialized dairy production belts (with improved cattle) in urban and peri-urban areas. The traditional market (informal) with either fresh liquid milk or milk products accounts for about 95% of the market opportunities for farmers. It is thus apparent that development of the traditional market will be extremely important for the Assam dairy sub-sector as it transits to a more formal way of operating, and therefore it is necessary to inject interventions that could facilitate improvement of the market. The major objective of the Dairy Development Department under Assam Agribusiness and Rural Transformation Project (APART) is transformation of informal Dairy Value Chain into formal one through improved resilience in Production, Quality, Safety and Standards of Milk by adding value to the produce with particular focus on informal market actors and dairy entrepreneurs in targeted project districts.
The project districts covered under APART - Dairy Development are: Nagaon, Sonitpur, Barpeta, Karbi Anglong, Kamrup, Dhubri, Golaghat, Kokrajhar, Lakhimpur, Darrang, Cachar, Hailakandi, Sivasagar, Jorhat, Goalpara, Morigaon and Nalbari.
To achieve the project objective, the Dairy Development Department have taken up the following activities with support from knowledge partner, International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), Kenya:
Market assessment through mapping of market actors of informal Dairy Value Chain through Physical assessment of distribution of market actors in 17 project districts.
Assessment of human health risk in Dairy Value Chain with particular focus on informal sector before and after interventions by assessment of magnitude of risk from Milk and Milk Products, assessment of adulteration, microbial load, antimicrobial residue and aflatoxin, assessment of prevalence of zoonotic pathogens like Brucella, Mycobacterium etc. and identification of critical control points.
Improvement and strengthening of the Lab infrastructure in dairy plants for checking quality and safety of milk /milk product traded by informal market actors. Improvement in quality in the traditional market will raise the demand and value of the products and thus income and employment. It will also help facilitate the evolution of the traditional market towards the more regulated and organized market.
Design, Development and Printing of training manuals for Informal Milk Market Actors, protocols for Training of Trainers (ToT), capacity building of Govt. Officials on Laboratory Technology with support from International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI).
Training of milk market actors – Training of milk market actors in targeted project districts on improved package of practices for quality and hygiene. The milk market actors comprise of Milk Producers, Milk Traders, Sweet Makers and Cottage Processors. Immediately after each training, a Hygienic Milk Monitoring Committee (HMMC) will be constituted among the trained actors to monitor the adoption of improved practices taught during the training.
Formation of DCS among the interested trained Milk Producers - The transformation is sought to achieve through mobilizing the informal Dairy value chain through strengthening of the existing Dairy Cooperatives Societies, formation of new Dairy Cooperatives Societies wherever feasible and register them under the Assam Cooperatives Registration Act. They will be supported with capacity up gradation, input services, market access and other linkages in the Milk value chain.
Linkages and Support to Market actors to run their business efficiently by providing input support and recognition for adoption of improved practices.
8. Development of Milk Collection Centres at each DCS for better aggregation of milk produced by each member of the Dairy Cooperative Society (DCS).
Assessment of critical need gap of existing DCS and arrangement for need based support. Need based interventions/ support will be provided for capacity building, value addition, technical up gradation.
Demonstration of Mastitis and Reproductive Health Management camp on pilot basis to create awareness among the dairy farmers regarding diagnosis and management of mastitis and reproductive diseases in targeted clusters.