NRI returnees enter dairy sector, add heft
Kerala Minister for Dairy Development K Raju has declared that the State has achieved self-sufficiency in milk production. This has been achieved in the face of adverse circumstances including inclement weather and the Covid-19 pandemic, he told newspersons here.
“During 2019-20, Kerala State Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (Milma) procured an average 12.5 lakh litres of milk per day. The per day sales was at an average of 13.37 lakh litres. To meet excess demand, we had to rely on cooperative institutions in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka,” the minister said.Advertising
“But as per statistics available for January, Milma is procuring 14.20 lakh litres day and sales stand at an average 13.25 lakh litres.”
According to PA Balan Master, Chairman, Milma, in the aftermath of Covid-19, a good number of NRIs heading home have turned to the dairy sector. “This is one of the reasons for the increase in production of milk in the State. We hope their number will steadily increase.”
High price for output
KS Mani, Chairman, Malabar Regional Co-operative Milk Producers Union, said that Kerala is the only State where dairy farmers are being provided a high price for their output. Meanwhile, a Milma spokesman said that the minister will launch work on Milma’s milk powder Plant and also dedicate the first phase of Malappuram Dairy Project at Moorkanad in Malappuram district on February 9.
The same function will also see the launch through video conference of the milk condensing plant of the Wayanad Dairy, Mani said. “Two of the three districts which lead in milk production are in the Malabar region. Last year, the procurement in Malabar was 1.26 lakh litres more than sales. The surplus was used to supply to Thiruvananthapuram and Ernakulam unions.”
Owing to the fillip in the dairy sector and crisis in other job sectors, milk procurement in Malabar has reached an excess of 2.12 lakh litres per day, the minister explained. Such a situation necessitates Milma’s own milk powder plant. Work on the project will be completed in one year, he added.
Wayanad tops in production
The Moorkanad plant will have an initial installed capacity to produce 10 metric tons of milk powder per day and is being built at a cost of ₹53.93 crore. Of this, ₹15.50 crore will come from the State Dairy Development Department; ₹ 32.72 crore from the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund of Nabard; and ₹5.17 crore from the Malabar Regional Cooperative Milk Producers Union.
Wayanad enjoys the reputation of being the largest milk producing district in Kerala, and the Centre has selected it as one of the ‘milk-friendly’ districts of the country. The first milk condensing plant of the state, which is fully functional and has the capacity of 3,000 litre/hour, was set up using the ₹ 3.1 crore provided under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana, and the Union’s own fund of ₹ 1.20 crore. Production of value-added products can also be increased using the condensed milk being produced in the plant, the spokesman said.
Source : The hindu Businessline Jan 27 2021