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Milk production improves in recent weeks

With the summer heat abating in recent weeks due to scattered rainfall, the region’s dairy industry has reported increased production figures after a recent slump. The news came as a positive sign on World Milk Day, observed on June 1.

“On Thursday, we produced 4,62,739 litres, and sold 1, 48,000 litres. This quantity is a significant improvement from the previous month,” a senior official of the Tiruchi chapter of District Cooperative Milk Producers’ Union, popularly known as Aavin, told The Hindu.

The official added that 3,20,000 litres is sent to Aavin’s Chennai operations, while the rest is reserved for sale in Tiruchi, Perambalur and Ariyalur. “We also include milk by-products in our catalogue like curd, buttermilk, butter, and also clarified butter (ghee). The demand for ghee is so high that we are planning to procure it from other dairies and market it through Aavin in the coming weeks,” he said.

Summer is a lean period for dairies as milk production slows down. “However this is also the time when consumption is high, especially in the form of ice-creams and yoghurt due to the heat. The imbalance between the demand and supply definitely affects the price,” said Vidya Madan, executive director, Vijay Dairy and Farm Products, in Peramangalam, Tiruchi.

The private enterprise sources over 1,20,000 litres of milk per day from approximately 7,000 farmers in the region. “Over the years, organised dairies which follow stringent government hygiene protocols, have a greater presence in the milk production sector. Besides this positive growth, we have also noticed a change in the pattern of consumption. Earlier milk was reserved for cooked preparations. Now, we can see value-added products like flavoured yoghurt and probiotic products being sought out in the market. Paneer (cottage cheese), which used to be a north Indian delicacy, is now being widely manufactured by southern dairies too,” said Ms. Madan.

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