April 17Dairy farmers in Gujarat will get a voice, quite literally, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurates a community radio station (CRS) — Dudh Vani — dedicated to animal husbandry on Tuesday during his Gujarat tour. Set up by the Banaskantha District Cooperative Milk Producers' Union or Banas Dairy, the Banas Dairy Community Radio station will connect over five lakh dairy farmers across 1,700 villages in the State.

This is set to become the country's first community radio station dedicated to the cattle-breeders.

Notably, the apex dairy development organisation — National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) — in collaboration with All India Radio had launched a bi-weekly podcast series dedicated to dairy farmers. The dedicated radio station from Banas Dairy becomes the first such initiative for dairy farmers of the world's largest milk producing country.

"This Community Radio Station has been established to provide farmers key scientific information related to agriculture and animal husbandry," a statement from the Prime Minister's Office said.

Gujarat tour

Prime Minister Modi is scheduled to start his three-day Gujarat tour from Monday, April 18. This is his second visit to the poll-bound home State since March 11. On April 18, the Prime Minister will visit the Command and Control Centre for Schools in Gandhinagar. On Tuesday, he will lay the foundation stone of multiple projects at Banas Dairy complex in Diyodar Taluka of Banaskantha district in North Gujarat.

At the newly-commissioned greenfield dairy complex at Diyodar, the Prime Minister will inaugurate a potato processing plant built at a cost of over ₹600 crore. The potato processing plant will produce different types of processed potato products like french fries, potato chips, aloo tikki, patties etc, many of which will be exported to other countries.

"These plants will empower local farmers and give a boost to the rural economy in the region," the PMO said in a statement.

Infra development

The dairy complex will enable the processing of about 30 lakh litres of milk per day, with capacity to produce about 80 tonnes of butter, one lakh litres of ice cream, 20 tonnes of condensed milk (Khoya) and 6 tonnes of chocolate daily.

The Prime Minister will also dedicate to the nation an organic manure and biogas plant at Dama, Gujarat, expanded facilities for the production of cheese products and whey powder at the Banas dairy plant in Palanpur, and the foundation stone of four gobar gas plants of 100 tonnes capacity to be laid at Khimana, Ratanpura – Bhildi, Radhanpur and Thawar.

On the Gujarat tour, Modi will also lay the foundation stone of the WHO Global Centre for Traditional Medicine in Jamnagar. The next day, he will inaugurate the Global AYUSH Investment & Innovation Summit at Gandhinagar and attend a tribal community gathering in Dahod.