Innovative Initiative towards Clean Milk Production and Product Development in the Dairy Sector
November 16, 2012 | Guwahati, Assam

Demand for milk and milk products have been on a rise since the past few years in the Guwahati region, the gateway to the North-east of India. However, milk and milk-based products are often under the scanner for the impurities and adulterations found in them. More than ever, consumers are now conscious of the harmful effects of impurities of milk. Experts now admit that for a healthy development of the dairy sector in the region it is imperative to improve the quantity and quality of milk produced at the farm level and also develop new milk-based products. To support this cause, the Agricultural Innovation Partnership (AIP) in association with the Assam Agricultural University (AAU) and Purabi Dairy organized a full day training session for the farmers on hygienic dairy farming practices on 16th November 2012 in Jorhat, Assam. Purabi dairy is the biggest of the three milk unions in Assam covering 4000 farmers and processing 40,000 litres of milk every day.

Thirty farmers from different milk shed regions attended the program. There were detailed sessions on the importance of producing milk with higher Fat/SNF and lower bacterial count and the simple steps that a farmer could follow to ensure a hygienic environment in the dairy farm. Dr. Archana Talukdar, faculty from AAU, discussed preventive medication for improving the health of the dairy animals. The farmers also got tips on managing and growing their business from Dr. Nripen Barua, an international expert on new dairy product development. The farmers were satisfied with the know-how they got on quality management and were keen to implement the learning in their farms for better revenue generation.

Simultaneously Nripen Barua did a pilot product development demonstration to technical team of Purabi dairy to improve the taste, consistency and flavour of one of their existing products. The product which was developed was compared with the existing product and the competitor’s product available in the market and was found to be superior in sensory parameters. The technical team was of the opinion that with minor modifications the product would be ready to be presented to the top management next month. Sharing his opinion Nripen said, “AIP has rightly addressed the issues in the dairy sector. If we can produce milk in hygienic condition and develop right processes and formulation, we can manufacture best in class products.”

Commenting on the session Mr. Manoranajn Thakur, MD, Purabi Dairy said, ”Product innovation is essential to tap the growing market for dairy products and Purabi Dairy is committed to develop products based on consumer preference. Such sessions would go a long way in contributing to the development of the dairy farmers and the entire dairy sector. We should target to cover atleast 1,000 farmers in the next six months to create a large scale impact.“ He was also impressed with the developed product and asked the team to prepare an action plan to launch the product. Dr. Trishna Borpuzari, faculty from AAU, who was instrumental in bringing together the participants for the session, said in her concluding remarks that the session was beneficial for farmers as well as Purabi Dairy. She assured AIP of regular support from AAU in replicating such sessions in future.

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