Verghese Kurien Centre of Excellence organized a National Workshop on Water Management in Dairy Industry in IRMA on 28 January 2023. Prof. Umakant Dash, the Director of IRMA gave the welcome speech and felicitated the guests. He appreciated VKCoE’s efforts in organizing the MDPs on ‘Smart Dairy Farming’ and ‘Reducing Carbon footprint in Dairy Plants to Increase Operating Profits’ successfully.
Prof. Tushar Shah, Former Director of IRMA narrated the concepts of water use efficient in irrigation, canal system, and recharge systems and how the focus is changing as the water resources are depleting. He also touched upon consumptive use of water in crops and its footprint in milk production.
Dr Ram Aneja, Former MD of NDDB and close colleague of Dr Kurien recollected the finding of a fifty year old research paper on water footprint in agriculture produce and related to the need of the day for conserving water in the dairy plants. Shri Meenesh Shah, Chairman, NDDB suggested the selection of crops and ration balancing to reduce the water footprint in production. He cited the 1:1 water use and milk production ratio while designing a dairy plant, automation for water and product push, the need for digitalization and zero liquid discharge. He informed about the set-up of solar pumps for surplus energy in the solar cooperative at Mujkuva village which can generate additional income for dairy farmers with the support of the government of Gujarat & India.
Since 2021, VKCoE has conducted and funded research projects addressing the water footprint in the dairy Sector. The first project is ‘Water footprint of milk production in Gujarat’ under Dr. Uday Shankar Saha, former CGM of NABARD & former RBI Chair Professor in IRMA and a team of research fellows. The other is ‘Water conservation in Dairy Processing using Artificial Intelligence’ conducted by Dr. Kushal Anjaria, Assistant Professor in IRMA. Both of them presented their research outcomes to the audience. The workshop was organized to disseminate information generated through these two projects to various stakeholders. Additionally, experts from the dairy industry shared their knowledge and experience, which was effective learning for others.
In the afternoon, Shri Amit Vyas, MD of Amul Dairy presented ‘Water footprint in dairy industry: A case study of AMUL Dairy’. He spoke about water conservation techniques starting from increasing the water table at the village milk society level to plant processing. He emphasized the importance of PDCA cycle, water audit and implementation of the innovation technologies in the dairy plant.
Later, a panel discussion was held for more insightful interactions to discuss the long-running problem of water management in the dairy sector, consisting of both academicians and practitioners of the dairy industry. Their experience and expertise were at the disposal to lead fruitful discussions regarding the severe issue affecting all dairy stakeholders. Shri Manoranjan Pani, CGM of GCMMF, Dr. Atanu Jana, Principal of SMC College of Dairy Science, Shri Prakash Maheshwari, Executive Director of IDMC, Prof. Indranil De, Associate Professor & In-charge of IRMA Water Centre were part of the panel, with Dr. J B Prajapati, Chairperson of VKCoE as the moderator.
Shri Manoranjan Pani highlighted the need to replicate research centre like VKCoE in all milk federations and encouraged ‘Reduce, Recycle and Reuse’ of water in dairy sector. Prof. Atanu Jana focussed on water conservation techniques for making of dairy products and utilization of condensate from steam. Prof. Indranil De made a presentation on ‘Social-cost benefits and business models for Natural Treatment System’ which has been adopted by Sid’s Farm, Hyderabad and Vedancha and can be implemented in milk collection centres. Shri Prakash Maheshwari from IDMC said that water must be regarded as a raw material with cost and the management of a dairy plant must focus on water conservation, continuous processing instead of batch processing, increased automation, training of employees, setting targets for water conservation and operations. Prof. Prajapati shared the good examples of ETPs of Valsad milk union and Milma. The programme got concluded with the screening of videos on the creation of 75 water bodies during the 75th Amrit Mahotsav of India’s independence by Banas Dairy.
Source : Press Release 28th January 2023, by Dr V Kurien Center of Excellence IRMA Campus Anand