The National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) will hold surplus stocks of imported milk powder and milk fat as a buffer to be carried over the next lean season.
NDDB will, henceforth, make allotment of imported milk powder and fat to state milk federations only if they are not in a position to maintain supplies using locally available fresh milk or surplus milk powder, an official release said today.
The decision has been taken in view of recent reports that milk availability in states has improved and that surplus milk is coming into the organised market due to good monsoon, the release said.
The government, it added, is keeping a close watch on the developments in the dairy sector and will take appropriate policy measures as and when necessary to safeguard the interests of both the dairy farmers and the consumers, it said.
The drought conditions in 2009 had caused a fall in milk production across the country in the 2009-10 financial year vis-à-vis the previous years.
The lower growth rate in milk production was largely due to the reduced production of major agricultural crops in 2009-10 such as rice, pulses and oilseeds, which reduced the availability of feed ingredients in the country.
Milk procurement by cooperatives grew at a mere 3 per cent in 2009-10 compared to a growth of about 10 per cent in the previous year. On the other hand, milk marketing by cooperatives increased by 6 per cent in 2009-10 as compared to the previous year.
Most state milk federations reported drop in milk procurement and lower milk powder and milk fat stocks even during the flush (winter) season. Based on its assessment, the government then permitted NDDB to import 30,000 tonnes of milk powder and 15,000 tonnes of milk fat at zero import duty to ensure that there is no disruption of milk supplies to the consumers in the country.