In a bid to boost state's dairy production, Jharkhand government again inked an agreement with the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) for five years.
A memorandum of understanding between NDDB and state government was signed on Saturday in presence of Union rural development minister Jairam Ramesh.
The NDDB will take over the management of the operations of the newly constituted Jharkhand State Co-operative Milk Producers Federation Limited (Milkfed) and Jharkhand Dairy Project.
The board will also prepare a five-year dairy development plan and take up its execution.
This is the second agreement with the NDDB in state.
Jharkhand had invited the board first in 2007 for five years and given it the responsibility of dairy development in state.
But, the state discontinued the agreement on December 6, 2012, as the board had allegedly failed to yield desired results.
The board had to scale up milk procurement to 65,000 litres per day from 12 districts of the state in five years but it reportedly managed only 13,000 litres per day from three
Besides, the board had to start operation of one-lakh litre dairy processing plant at Hotwar.
But, the plant is yet to start
After breaking ties with NDDB, state government had roped in Amul brand in Gujarat.
RS Sodhi, managing director of Gujarat Cooperatives Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), and Rahul Srivastava, MD of Amul, had also visited Jharkhand along with Rajya Sabha MP Parimal Nathwani in March last year.
But, the state government decided to approach NDDB again with the initiative of Union minister
Ramesh said even though it is a 'reluctant marriage' between Jharkhand government and NDDB, he hoped they would work with better coordination for dairy development in
"Jharkhand imports around six lakh litres per day from outside, particularly from Bihar while local farmers contribute only 20,000 litres per day. It means Rs 1 crore goes outside from Jharkhand every day. If state meets the demand, the money could benefit Jharkhand's dairy farmers," Ramesh said.
Once the NDDB starts operation in the state, Jharkhand's Medha dairy will be sold with the tag of mother dairy and the product will be known as Mother Dairy Medha.
"Brand visibility is important to sell any product. If we use the tag of Mother Dairy along with Medha, sale of product will increase for sure," said Aloke Pandey, director, state dairy development department.