Dairy infrastructure fund aims at full milk procurement at flush season

With a corpus of Rs10,881 crore being provided as financial assistance under the Dairy Processing Infrastructure Development Fund (DIDF), secretary department of animal husbandry, dairying and fisheries (DADF) has directed procurement of all milk being produced by the country's milk farmers in the flush season.

DADF has issued an advisory to states to include milk in the mid-day meal scheme, Anganwadi Scheme, etc, and also requested the Department of Food and Public Distribution to consider inclusion of milk in the PDS system in order to boost milk consumption.

At a meeting of major milk cooperative in the country convened on 21 December 2017, secretary, department of animal husbandry, dairying and fisheries, under the ministry of agriculture and farmers welfare, has advised the cooperatives to set a target of 2 per cent share in the world trade in milk by 2020.

All major cooperatives of the country such as Amul (Gujarat),  Nandini (Karnataka), Sudha (Bihar), Vita (Haryana), Verka (Punjab), PCDF-Parag (Uttar Pradesh) were directed to ensure that the milk being brought by farmers to the cooperative dairies is purchased without discrimination.

Already, the milk procurement by cooperatives during November 2017 has recorded an increase of 20.4 per cent compared to last year. The procurement price of milk during November 2017 is also higher by 4.7 per cent compared to last year.

The stock of skimmed milk powder (SMP) has gone up to 1,16,946 tonnes due to higher conversion and is expected to rise further to 2,00,000 tonnes by the end of March 2018. Domestic prices of SMP and ghee were higher by about 9 per cent and 19 per cent, respectively, during November 2017 compared to last year.

Secretary (DADF) directed that a milk production target of 255 million tonnes by 2022 has been set by the department so as to double the farmers' income in line with achieving the prime minister's vision of doubling farmers' income.

The total share of milk procurement by cooperatives is to be increased from existing 10 per cent to 20 per cent of milk production by 2022. This will ensure better returns to dairy farmers, he said, adding that the states and cooperatives are to prepare their plans accordingly.