The Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) that markets the brand Amul, was under pressure to pay a good price to Gujarat farmers following a glut of liquid milk during the pandemic over the past year. However, the export orders for skimmed milk powder (SMP) the dairy giant received over the past two months, will allow GCMMF continue paying a better price to its members.
On Friday, a train fully loaded with Amul milk powder chugged off from the inland container depot (ICD), Viramgam to reach the country’s largest container port — the Nhava Sheva Port also known as the Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JNP) in Maharashtra.
In terms of quantity, this was the biggest shipment for export of dairy products dispatched by home-grown dairy giant in a single day through a train. Milk powder manufactured and packaged at AmulFed Dairy, Gandhinagar — a unit of GCMMF will be exported to Malaysia.
Trains with eight to 15 containers loaded with Amul products have chugged off from ICDs like Sanand and Khodiyar in the past. But the train that chugged off on Friday had 45 containers each loaded with 25 metric tonnes of milk powder counting for 1,124 metric tonnes of milk powder in one single rail rake through Gateway Rail Freight Ltd which provides exim operations at ICD Viramgam. From JNP, the shipment will be loaded in Malaysia-bound vessel.
“We were under pressure because of more milk that we had received during the pandemic,” said R S Sodhi, managing director of GCMMF that markets brand Amul.
“Because of this export, we will be able to provide a good price to Gujarat farmers. In fact, during the last two months, we have exported more than 12,000 tonnes of milk powder to Bangladesh, Afghanistan, UAE, Oman and Malaysia among others,” he said.
GCMMF and its member milk unions put together had achieved peak milk procurement in mid-February when milk collection had touched a record 300 lakh litres per day (LLPD).
Sources said that since then milk collection has gradually started reducing. Currently, the total milk collection stands at 290 LLPD. Dairy farmers in Gujarat are currently paid procurement price in the range of Rs 670 to Rs 720 per kg fat by the milk unions, who will be also paying the price difference to their registered members.
Source : Times of India by Prashant Rupera, Feb 28,2021