Gangtok, October 14 (IPR): Hon’ble Chief Minister Shri Prem Singh Tamang launched the New Government incentive to dairy farmers of Sikkim at Rs 8 per litre of milk, an initiative towards Aatmanirbhar Bharat at Chintan Bhawan today. The program was organized by Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services in collaboration with the Sikkim Cooperative Milk Producers’ Union Limited.
The program was also attended by the Hon’ble Deputy Speaker SLA, Shri Sangay Lepcha, Hon’ble Cabinet Ministers, MLAs, Advisors, Chairmen, Chief Secretary Additional Chief Secretaries, Principal Secretaries, Heads of various departments, senior officials and dignitaries.
The program was held to introduce the new initiative of providing the dairy producers at Rs. 8/- per litre of milk directly to their individual account by the State Government in addition to the prescribed rate applicable to them.
The Hon’ble Chief Minister in his address appreciated the initiative of the Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services and Sikkim Cooperative Milk Producers’ Union Limited. He thanked all the dairy-producing farmers and their efforts in helping the Government to make such a historic initiative towards their benefit. He mentioned that he can understand the plight of the efforts that go in making a living in the rural areas, and added that such a unique initiative would encourage the farmers to excel. He urged the gathering to appreciate the roles and hard work put in by the farming community in providing food for all. The Chief Minister also mentioned that Sikkim must realize the goal of being self-reliant in every sphere as desired by the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India. He urged all present to continue to enhance their production and added that the State Government would always aid them in every possible way. He stated that the pandemic has caused a delay in bringing such initiatives that would encourage the hard-working farmers. However, the State Government will now continue work on policies catered for the rural populous, he added. The Chief Minister also stated that the amount for the incentives given to the farmers has already been earmarked which would be directly credited to the farmer’s account.
He also expressed his desire that the farming community should take benefit of such initiatives and upscale their products in the coming days. The HCM also mentioned that more stress would be given in the strengthening of Cooperative Societies in Sikkim which would help in the state being ‘self-reliant’.
During the occasion, the Chief Minister made several announcements such as the construction of two milk production centres every year, Rs. 10 Lakhs to the Sikkim Milk Union from Chief Minister’s Discretion Fund, Rs. 2 Lakhs to the ‘Milkman of the Year Award’ to the farmer who produces the maximum amount of milk in a year, payment to milk damages caused by road blockage, declaration of ‘Gwala Day’ as restricted holiday after the day will be finalized and emphasized on One Family Two Cows policy. He also informed that the requests put forward by the MPCS would be considered after evaluation. The Chief Minister also urged and directed everyone to wear masks all the time, wash hands frequently and to maintain social distancing to minimize the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Hon’ble Minister for Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services Shri Lok Nath Sharma in his address marked the day as historic, with a noteworthy achievement for the welfare of farmers. The newly launched initiatives of rupees eight per litre of milk is a unique, exemplary and encouraging financial support initiated by the State Government for the benefits of the farmers of Sikkim.
Besides, encouraging financial incentives, the recent enhancement of milk price raised by the State Government, will certainly improve the economic and social status of the farmers, he added.
The Minister also underlined the immediate requirement of the technical manpower in the department to address the medical and technical issues in rural areas. He also drew light on the benefits of an ongoing program of ‘Development through Credit’ and informed that the program will also be launched for East and North Sikkim after the upcoming Dusshera festival. He also committed to providing a high-yielding variety of milch cow to the farmers in near future. Further, he also acknowledged the farmer’s hardships and challenges faced by them in producing milk and it’s products.
The Secretary, Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services Shri S.B. Subba in his brief address stated the dairy farmers of Sikkim will be getting incentives of Rs. 8 per litre for the first time in the history of the State. He informed everyone about genetically enhanced livestock which will be introduced soon in the State. He also gave a brief informative overview of the various policies of the department and how the farmers and the public can benefit from it.
The Hon’ble Chief Minister also handed over the cheques of the New Government Incentive @ 8/- per litre of milk to the beneficiaries for the months of April, May and June 2020 during the program.
The program also saw the launching of Dairy Cooperative Song in honour of Dairy farmers of Sikkim written and composed by Dr. A. B. Karki, Managing Director Sikkim Milk Union.
Likewise, prize for the winners of lockdown poetry competition “Gwala” were also distributed.
The award for best suggestions from the employees of Sikkim Milk Union on the topic, “My role and responsibility on combating Covid-19” was also presented.
On the occasion, the ‘Milk Man of the Year Award’ of Rs. 2 Lakh was also handed over to Shri. Puspa Lal Sharma for being able to deliver 89 liters of milk per day.