A blog by Kuldeep Sharma
Last fortnight saw the celebrations of world milk day on June 1st and World Food safety Day on June 7th. Amul, Mother Dairy , Heritage foods and Coca Cola launched various immunity booster products in this fortnight. The category of dairy products being launched by these dairies are Haldi , Ginger, Tulsi, Ashwagandha and A2 milk with spiced butter milk.
Three major schemes were introduced this fortnight for dairy farmers and dairy entrepreneurs . Kisan credit cards, NABARD DEDS and Rajasthan government Kamadhenu scheme for Desi cow farms were introduced recently. I shall be discussing about these schemes later in this blog.
At global front there has been a decline of around 4.6% in around 75 countries which got covered by IFCN and presented in their International conference. India and USA were the only two countries showing decline of milk prices by over 15% during Covid times with USA taking the lead at around 29%. In case of all those areas which were not covered by Amul, the prices gone to as low as 19% from the prices prevailing during the beginning of this year. Renewed economic activities in China fuelled the demand for SMP and WMP amid lower prices thus stabilizing their prices even under the circumstances of export availabilities and huge inventories. This led to a 0.1% gain in milk price index early this month even after anhydrous butter fat, butter and cheese showing huge decline.
Amul, Britania and Nandini were declared as the top three brands in food and beverage sector in the same order. This reinforces the importance of dairy brands in the minds of the Indian consumers.Care ratings showed a positive growth in per capita availability of around 470 gms with 226 million metric tons of milk production by 2023. CRISIL forecast a 50 to 75 bps decline in operational profitability of organized dairy sector . Their finding also highlighted the challenges of working capital due to huge piled stocks which will be faced by midsized dairies with turnover upto Rs 500 Cores.
On world milk day several programs were organized. In one of the program the theme was to find livelihood opportunities for migrant workers. These workers not only comprise of those who have gone back to the native places but their counterparts also who are left behind with no opportunity to earn their daily wages. Delhi NCR itself has more than 29% daily wage earners.
COVID is proving to be a great teacher and is giving second chance to all of us to format the past and reset our systems at both individual as well as national level. Apart from various schemes announced under Atma Nirbhar Bharat, I would like the policy makers to explore possibilities of using the recently announced schemes as follows :
a. Recently returned migrants may be enrolled with NABARD DEDS scheme in any capacity as some of them will be having some piece of land with them and might be in a position to put in some funds. At a small scale Kisan credit card may also be extended to these migrants. Currently it is offered to around 1.5 crore dairy farmers attached with the cooperative sector.
b. Poor Migrant workers with no financial savings may be provided employment under MNREGA to support existing dairy farms . It could be done by using them for farm operations and feed and fodder cultivation. Appropriate amendment in MNREGA act will be required for this.
c. This is the time for all agencies capable of imparting skill development to come forward and collaborate with existing dairy sector to develop productive dairy farmers and micro processors of milk and milk products at one end and trained sales man and delivery boy on the other end of supply chain.
d. The skilled dairy farmers and micro dairy enterprise will create an eco system of sustainability for the migrants at villages .
e. The skilled delivery boys and sales man will create a sustainable ecosystem for the unemployed urban masses .
f. The government may mobilize funds for supporting respective skill councils, training institutions. NABARD DEDS may develop options of funding for micro dairy enterprise at all block levels.
g. The dairy players from both the public and the private sector may open their doors for such skilled manpower
There are around 10 crore migrants at worker level. We must plan for 30-40% of them who might not be returning back in next 6 to 18 months. The number of jobless urban masses might be around 30 lakhs to 50 Lakhs in major cities.
Its high time for policy makers to look at the possibilities for stopping migration of rural masses at first place. All efforts must be there to create opportunities for them at the village level only. Micro dairy enterprise at Rs 10 lakhs per block for 4000 potential blocks may cost Rs 400 crore. It would create opportunity for the dairy farmers to use these facilities as community processing centers for Khoa , ghee, cheese. Another fund will be required for creating cold stores for storage of cheese and khoa. Later on government may create an IT platform for these farmers/communities to market their products.
This thought process would require due deliberations by all the stakeholders for further refinement and action.
Happy e reading
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With best regards
Chief Thinking Officer