Delhi: In order to re-energize the economy stalled due to Covid-19 pandemic, the Meghalaya government on Thursday launched country’s largest piggery project under its ‘Restart Mission’.The project was launched in collaboration with the National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC). NCDC has sanctioned a project of Rs. 220.50 crore to the Government of Meghalaya for development of Piggery sector through cooperatives under Meghalaya Piggery Mission. The Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Mr. Kailash Chaudhary gave away Rs. 53 crore to Mr. Conrad K. Sangma as the first installment of the sanctioned amount at the launch ceremony.
Speaking on the occasion the Chief Minister Sangma said, “The state government is working closely with the central government and central institutions at various levels to see how much the Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call for doubling farmers' income can be fulfilled in the state.’ He said that interest-free loans will be given to farmers to ensure maximum participation in the piggery farming project. The interest on these loans will be borne by the Meghalaya government. The project also identifies with the 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat' mission of the union government as it will not only become an import-replacement for pork in Meghalaya, but will also export hygienic pork products.
Mr. Sangama said that under this project up of 300 satellite pig breeding farms, small slaughter houses, product transport small vehicles and pork vending kiosks will be set up. It also includes pig feed storage unit, quality certification facility and pilot facility for processed products, brand promotion and market support for exports. The project will also provide refrigerated transport vehicles for cold chain. This is the biggest project sanctioned by NCDC in North East and the first project for development of piggery sector in the country. 208 Cooperative Societies have been already identified for implementation of the Piggery Mission and M-LEADS and the State Government is now ready for implementation of the Piggery Mission.
Chief Minister Sangma said that there is a difference of about 25 percent between the demand and supply of pork in Meghalaya, while it is about 50 percent in the entire Northeast. In such a situation, the Meghalaya Piggery Mission (MPM) aims at quantum jump in pork production so as to cater to the demand in not only the NE Region but also exports to South East Asia in line with ACT EAST policy. This will create new employment opportunities in the state. Unemployed youth belonging to 5000 tribal communities of the state will get regular source of livelihood.
Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Mr. Kailash Chaudhary said that 10,000 FPOs will be created in Meghalaya for this project so that piggery farmers would be self-reliant while achieving the target within the stipulated time. He said that the Prime Minister's call to double the income of farmers is being planned at every level in a systematic way. In order to enable farmers to take their produce to the market, the Central Government has also announced to run Kisan Rail.
Deputy Chief Minister of Meghalaya Mr Prestone Tynsong said that the Government of Meghalaya has outlined the contours for implementation of Piggery Mission. It involves the Meghalaya Livestock Enterprises Advancement Society (M-LEADS) constituted with Principal Secretary, Animal Husbandry & Veterinary as Chairman and Commissioner & Secretary, Finance & Cooperation Departments as Chief Executive Officer. The Governing Body of M-LEADS has representation from other important stakeholders such as Community & Rural Development Department, Meghalaya Basin Development Authority, Meghalaya State Rural Livelihoods Society and the Meghalaya State Cooperative Apex Bank. Along with this, this project will be associated under MNREGA.
Mr. Tysong said that with the collaboration of private sector, higher quality germplasm would be brought in for multiplication at Nucleus Breeding Centres. These centres will be the source for continuous supply of quality piglets to the beneficiaries of the project. Project would promote high quality hygienic pork, reduce dependence on piglets from outside the state and ensure supply of quality and disease resistant piglets. The project would also result in surplus production which will be exported to other States and beyond the borders.
Mr. Sandeep Nayak, MD’s NCDC said that project is proposed to fulfill objectives like sustainable livelihood development through formation of multipurpose cooperatives structure, well channelized backward and forward linkages, production and marketing of clean hygienic pork/pork products and socio-economic upliftment of weaker sections of society in Meghalaya. The program was addressed by video conferencing by BN Tripathi, Deputy Director General of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), N Rajkhowa, Director, NRCP, Guwahati and the program was conducted by AS Meena of NCDC.