Cattle smuggling hampering Tripura’s milk production

Agartala, April 8 (IANS) Tripura could not achieve its target of milk production due to smuggling of cattle into Bangladesh, Chief Minister Manik Sarkar said here Monday.

“Smuggling of cattle into Bangladesh was among the major problems to achieve the target of milk production in Tripura. After the fencing along the India-Bangladesh border, smuggling of cattle has reduced, but not stopped,” Sarkar said after inaugurating a milk production plant.

“Because of the unfavourable tropical condition and other problems in Tripura, breeding and keeping of Australian and other country’s cattle are also not viable … to increase milk production,” he said.

However, the Tripura government has taken a 10-year perspective plan few years ago and formed a Tripura livestock development agency in 2009 to increase the milk production in the state.

According to the chief minister, current per capita availability of milk in Tripura is 90 grams against the national per capita availability of 281 grams.

The Agartala Dairy Private Limited (ADPL) has set up the 50,000 litre a day capacity ambitious milk production plant at a cost of five crore rupees in Bodhjungnagar industrial growth centre, 15 km from here.

ADPL managing director Vincent Raju, a leading dairy consultant said: “World class machineries have been set up in the plant to produce quality milk and various other milk based products.”

He said: “Currently the northeastern region is facing huge deficit of milk despite the fact that India tops the world list in milk production. As the situation stands today, the milk requirement in this region is being compensated in the form of milk powder while on the other hand the rest of the country is witnessing surplus milk production.”

“The ADPL is also committed to work with farmers to enhance their skill and knowledge to improve the quality of breed, feed, healthy milking practices, and efforts to upgrade cold chain network besides providing financial assistance,” said Raju, who owns Nivjer Infrastructure in Chennai.

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