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Making Aavin a profit-making enterprise high on agenda: Minister

Minister for Dairy Development Mano Thangaraj on Tuesday said making the Tamil Nadu Cooperative Milk Producers Federation a profit-making enterprise by increasing production and then paying the farmers their due without burdening the end consumer was the task that he had taken on hand.

Talking about his plans to turn around Aavin after inspecting the Sholinganallur dairy, the Minister, who till recently held the IT portfolio, told The Hindu that his aim was to do it as quickly as possible.

“We are making an in-depth analysis of every activity of the milk major. From fitness certificates for milk tankers to cleaning of dairies and selling price of Aavin products in the market is being studied. Even a correction of 5%–10% will help the organisation in a big way. We are asking the various section heads to find out the needs of the staff. Even if they don’t know how to process a file, we will teach them the workflow. We are planning to train them in information and communications technology,” he said.

The Minister said automation of systems would be done wherever possible. “We will ensure the systems that are in place are being implemented. For instance, I am told that hot water is used to clean the entire dairy to ensure that milk does not curdle. I want to ensure that this cleaning is done properly according to the SOPs laid down. Such eye to detail will help improve quality of products, which will be to the advantage of consumers who will be able to see a marked improvement in quality very shortly,” he said.

Asked about selling of Aavin milk above MRP in the market, he said there could not be different selling prices in different places. “We will study the market, look at pricing of the various brands and see if there is a proper justification for that. We want uniform pricing for Aavin products across the State and elsewhere,” he said.

He said the Chief Minister asked him to ensure self-sufficiency in milk production. “Across the country, milk production is coming down. In such a situation, we want to bring about a White Revolution in the State…”

One suggestion, he said, was to rope in members of SHGs who would be willing to rear cattle. “They will be provided land where they can grow fodder and house the cattle, and they will have to supply milk to Aavin. They will be paid for their services.”

However, he said only those with an aptitude for this would be chosen. “When you plan people’s livelihoods, you need to do it very carefully. You cannot give cows or goats to everyone,” he said. Insurance and fodder to farmers would be provided. The procurement price being paid to farmers would also be increased, the Minister said, adding: “They supply milk to us for various reasons. We procure the milk throughout the year; any quantity of milk will be taken. We will also provide veterinary support and fodder at subsidised rate…”

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