Pashu Sandesh, 26 June 2019
National Dairy Development Board’s dairy development initiative in Vidarbha and Marathwada is gradually transforming the lives of rural people as it has started impacting social issues like gender inequalities and unemployment. NDDB’s innovative efforts have given the much-needed confidence to milk producers as they are getting the fair share of consumer price.
At the request of Govt of Maharashtra, NDDB and its subsidiary Mother Dairy Fruit & Vegetable Pvt. Ltd. (MDFVPL) is instrumental in safeguarding the interest of the rural milk producers in Vidarbha and Marathwada. Shri Dilip Rath, Chairman, NDDB conveyed that with guidance and support from Shri Nitin Gadkari, Hon’ble Union Minister of Road Transport & Highways and Shri Devendra Fadnavis, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Maharashtra, the Dairy Board is ensuring transparency & fairness in milk procurement operations and providing market access to the milk producers.
Presently, milk procurement operations are being carried out in 10 districts (Amravati, Wardha, Nagpur, Chandrapur, Buldhana, Yavatmal in Vidarbha and Nanded, Osmanabad, Latur and Jalna in Marathwada). Peak milk procurement of 2,82,879 litres from 23,827 active pourers of 1190 operational milk pooling points covering 2208 villages was recorded on 7 March 2019. Women have been forthcoming to adopt dairy farming as an ancillary avocation to augment their family incomes. The current participation of women stands at 29 % in terms of the pourer base.
Total payment is done to milk producers till 31st May 2019 is around Rs. 427.51 crores from initiation. Currently, a monthly average of Rs. 21.65 crore is getting transferred directly to bank accounts of farmers (100% farmers covered). Presently, 13336 litres of milk per day is being sold in Nagpur. Mother Dairy is selling about 31067 litres of milk per day (during 1-11, June 2019).
Encouraged by the permanent and round the year marketing facilities, the milk producers have started increasing their herd sizes by buying animals utilising their own resources. Producer farmers purchased 7188 milch animals (Vidarbha - 4200 & Marathwada - 2988) till 31st May 2019. NDDB has also introduced Rathi cows on an experimental basis to study their performance.
NDDB on its own implemented a pilot project in 40 villages of Wardha and Amravati districts for input activities like Ration Balancing Programme, the supply of cattle feed & mineral mixture, fodder development & silage making, oat cultivation and fodder demonstration units.
NDDB Dairy Services (a subsidiary of NDDB) established a mega semen station at Rahuri to produce and supply frozen semen from genetically superior bulls of various indigenous breeds of cattle and buffalo, crossbred and exotic bulls to enhance the productivity of dairy animals in the country. The ISO 9001; 2015 certified semen station produced around 50 lakh semen doses during 2018-19. Vidarbha and Marathwada is a focus area for Rahuri semen station. Around 80 AI awareness programmes were carried out wherein dairy farmers and AI workers participated. The major districts covered include Nagpur, Yawatmal, Bhandara, Buldhana, Washim, Latur, & Parbhani. Around 2 lakh high genetic merit semen doses were made available for AI in Vidarbha and Marathwada during the year 2018-19.
NDDB Foundation for Nutrition (NFN) has been distributing 200 ml of flavoured pasteurised toned milk (fortified with vitamin A and D) under Giftmilk programme to around 11000 children studying in 37 government schools in Nagpur district of the Vidarbha region. The programme is being funded under the CSR assistance of Mother Dairy Fruit & Vegetable Pvt. Ltd. The Bhandara Milk union has been roped in as the supplier of milk. The programme schools consist of about 50% of girl students and about 53% of SC-ST students. Around 8 lakh units of milk have been distributed in the schools so far. Further, a proposal has been submitted to initiate the programme in Gadchiroli district of Vidarbha region.
At present, institution building activities, a transparent system of milk procurement and timely milk payment are being focussed. Once the operations attain the scale and size required for a viable and sustainable business, setting up of a producer company would be facilitated by NDDB.