| The Wamul factory. Telegraph picture |
Guwahati, Sept. 26: Excellent performance of West Assam Milk Producers’ Cooperative Union Ltd (Wamul), a dairy cooperative of Assam, has prodded the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) to extend its agreement with Wamul for another five years.
The board expressed its happiness over the progress made by Wamul from 2008-13,
“The tie-up has been a rewarding experience which has seen Wamul milk processing capacity rise from 500 litres to nearly 50,000 litres today. We hope the rewarding partnership will continue for another five years,” additional chief secretary (cooperation) V.K. Pipersenia said.
Wamul’s average milk sale in a day was about 1,800 litres in 2007-08 which has now reached 45,000 litres per day. At present the union’s distribution network comprises 44 milk distribution routes, 1,477 milk retailers and it operates in 27 satellite towns.
Wamul sells its products under the brand name Purabi which has become a household name and has made good progress in recent years after going through a bad phase since its inception.
A tripartite agreement was signed today between the board, the Assam government and Wamul to take the Assam dairy sector forward.
Pipersenia signed the agreement on behalf of the Assam government. The other signatories were the managing director of NDDB, Dilip Rath, and that of Wamul, M. Thakur. Minister for cooperation Siddeque Ahmed was also present.
The NDDB had signed an agreement with Wamul and the Assam government in 2008 to revive Wamul. Both the state government and the board agreed to run Wamul in accordance with sound business principles and on commercial lines. The idea was to improve procurement, processing, manufacturing and marketing of milk for better capacity utilisation of the infrastructure created.
A number of new products were added by Wamul after it signed the agreement.
This year, the dairy cooperative included Tezpur town under its milk-marketing network apart from the already covered towns of Goalpara, Nagaon, Morigaon, Jorhat, Nalbari, Rangia, Mangaldoi.
In the next phase, the Wamul plant’s capacity will be increased to one lakh litres from 60,000 litres at present.
A source said one of the main activities in the second phase will be implementation of the Rs 147-crore Assam dairy development plan.
“The proposal was made by the NDDB for Assam government and is being proposed for funding by World Bank,” the source said. The Assam dairy development plan will be implemented by Wamul. Its focus will be development of animal breeding, including providing artificial insemination facilities at the doorstep of dairy farmers.
“The procurement network will be expanded and village-level infrastructure will be improved,” the source said, adding that a milk-processing plant would be set up in Jorhat.