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President lauds Gujarat dairy projects

Our Bureau

Anand , Dec. 15

THE President, Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, has lauded the Amul milk cooperative and Vadi projects in Gujarat as successful models of his vision for the country's development through PURA (provisioning of urban facilities in rural areas).

"I have come across number of models of rural development piloted by individuals, NGOs and institutions. These are some of the islands of successes. When we are looking for implementing them in six hundred thousand villages spread in more than 500 districts, we need an institutional mechanism for governance," the President said at the Institute of Rural Management, Anand (IRMA).

The President cited the examples of the Gujarat milk cooperative movement and the role played by the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) in implementing PURA.

The Amul programme has enriched over one-crore farmer member and resulted in self-sufficiency of milk and milk products in the country, enriching the farmers and giving a new dimension to this sector, he said.

The same model could be extended to commodities such as seed cotton, Jhatropha, wheat, rice, maize, vanilla beans and herbal plants in which India has core competence, Dr Kalam added.

The President said that during his recent visit to some tribal villages in South Gujarat, he came across another successful model of PURA.

Referring to the `Vadi' project, he pointed out that the BAIF (Bharatiya Agro Industrial Foundation), in collaboration with the State Government, has undertaken water harvesting livestock and horticulture programmes for the tribal villagers.

Another successful PURA model, Dr Kalam said, is at the Periyar Maniammai College of Technology for Women. That developmental concept of a cluster of over 60 villages near Vallam in Thanjavur district of Tamil Nadu, involves physical, electronic and knowledge connectivity, which forms the basis of PURA and leads to economic connectivity.

"For the overall sustainable development of the nation we need approximately 7,000 PURA complexes, each PURA having one lakh people in 20 to 100 villages. There can be many models, and each area has to find out which one is best suited for its needs," he said.

Each PURA depending upon the region will cost between Rs 100 crore and Rs 200 crore. It has also to provide direct employment opportunity for 3,000 people. `If we create a small-scale sector this will mean creation of approximately 10-20 enterprises per each PURA complex.'

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