The Sikkim Co-Operative Milk Producer’s Union Ltd is implementing a manure management project with the support of the National Dairy Development Board at Kamrey Village cluster in Sikkim. Under the project 120 dairy farmers of Sikkim Co-operative Milk Producer’s Union Ltd have been selected and provided with a biogas plant. These dairy farmers’ household use biogas produced from the plant to fulfill their cooking energy needs and use bio-slurry produced in their agriculture fields. The project has completed a trial run of the Slurry processing plant at Kamrey Village in this week. The trial production was supervised by the NDDB team of officials consisting of Mr. Vinay Patel, Manager and Mr. K.B Pratap Manager in the presence of the Project Manager, Route Supervisors of the Sikkim Milk Union and Mr. C.P. Bhattrai, BoD of SMU and the president of Kamrey Village Milk Producer’s Co-operative Society. On 20 May 23, the above team of NDDB officials and Milk Union Officials consisting of Ms. Kesang Diki, General Manager, Dy Manager and other project implementing officials held a brainstorming session chaired by Dr. P. Senthil Kumar, Secretary-AHVS/MD, Sikkim Milk Union to institutionalize both backward and forward linkages in order to make it a profitable venture for the dairy farmers of the cluster. It was resolved that all these 120 farmers will be organized into a cooperative society, which will help them in the maintenance and upkeep of plants and aggregate the surplus slurry offered by member farmers The society to procure the surplus bio-slurry offered and processes the same to manufacture slurry based organic fertilizers. Organic fertilizer products manufactured from the slurry are sold under a brand name to people inside and outside the state. The conversion of fresh dung to biogas yields a 55 % efficiency rate compared to 10 % efficiency by direct burning. Thus it is important to convert the available manure into biogas for efficient use as cooking fuel. At the same time, biogas plants save women and children from the daunting task of firewood collection. Furthermore, the nutrient-rich slurry produced during the process of b is nearly odorless and useful as an organic fertilizer. It can be applied to agricultural land as a fertilizer to improve soil health in our organic state. Effective value addition and sale of slurry-based biofertilizers can enhance the income of dairy farmers on a sustainable basis. The income can support the cost of production of milk as well as the feeding of dry animals making dairying sustainable for small farmers. Anaerobic digestion, a process that converts manure to methane-rich biogas, can lower GHG emissions from manure significantly.
This very important project is taken up at Kamarey under Budang Kamarey GPU and nearby cluster villages by the Sikkim Co-operative Milk Producer’s Union Ltd with the support of NDDB. The project installed 120 number of biogas plants under the program with funding support from SPEF and NDDB. The technical know-how to operate the processing center and related activities shall be provided by NDDB. The monetary benefits that can be reaped from the program make it sustainable in the long run as it supports dairying. A combination of savings on cooking fuel and earnings from surplus slurry in one year and a half would be equivalent to the expenditure on biogas plants. Net earnings from the sale of slurry-based organic fertilizer in three to four years shall be equivalent to the investment made in a slurry processing center. Fortification of the slurry with external nutrients, and microbes in liquid and solid forms can provide enormous benefits for the agriculture sector in terms of crop yield and sustaining soil health. NDDB team appreciated the efforts and efficiency of Sikkim Co-operative Milk Producer’s Union Ltd in achieving this milestone and expressed confidence that this intervention will be a successful venture and benefit dairy farmers of the cluster.

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