At the 66th Annual General Body (AGM) meeting of Baroda Dairy on Saturday, the management said that it had received an in-principle approval from the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) to initiate procurement.
Baroda Dairy, the largest cooperative of Vadodara district, is set to procure milk from five districts of Madhya Pradesh, which share a border with Chhota Udepur, to make up for the daily loss of 1.5 lakh litre milk recorded in the last financial year.
Baroda Dairy, which has milk producers from Vadodara and Chhota Udepur districts as well as Tilakwada taluka of Narmada, has recorded a decline of about 2.28 crore kg of milk in the previous financial year, as the overall procurement came down to about 22 crore kg from about 24 crore kg last year. As a result, the dairy has also announced a remuneration of Rs 82.58 crore this year as against Rs 99 crore paid to milk producers last year.
To make up for the decline in the milk production – which, according to the dairy, has impacted Gujarat – Baroda Dairy seeks to procure of milk from five districts of MP, including Alirajpur and Barwani, which share border with Chhota Udepur.
Baroda Dairy vice-president G B Solanki told The Indian Express , “The dairy sector in Gujarat has seen a decline ranging from 2 per cent to 20 per cent this year… The reason could be due to… global warming on a larger scale. But locally also, it is the diminishing numbers of animal farmers. While the Patel and Kshatriya communities have slowly grown out of milk production, even in the tribal belt, we are witnessing many next-generations of milk producers finding jobs and giving up the family profession. So, we are looking at new avenues, as it is a chain of producers – if someone exits, there will be someone new joining the business.”
Solanki added that a team of surveyors of Baroda Dairy have estimated that 2.5 lakh litres of milk can be procured daily from MP. “The proposal to procure milk from the five districts has been principally approved by GCMMF. Baroda Dairy had sent teams for a survey to estimate how much milk can be made available after local consumption and purchase by private players there. We are also looking at some bordering districts in Maharashtra for a future course of action.”
The AGM, which saw a unanimous passing of the profit and loss statement of the Baroda Dairy, witnessed ruckus as some members raised questions about the “lower payment for milk” announced by the management. However, Baroda Dairy Chairman and former Karjan BJP MLA, Satish Patel, said: “We have issued notices in newspapers, asking members to send a list of questions to be asked in the AGM seven days in advance, as per protocol. We did not receive any questions.”
“It is a regular feature for some members to create a scene after the AGM is over… The remuneration to milk farmers corresponds with the production, which has reduced not just in Baroda Dairy but in the entire state. It is because, now, we are finding it difficult to retain milk producers, who want to move on to other avenues for income and are slowly quitting animal husbandry,” he added.
Source : Indian Express Aug 27th 2023