Efforts of all producer-owned institutions & milk producers to be applauded for safeguarding nation’s dairy supply chain: Chairman, NDDB

Efforts of all producer-owned institutions & milk producers to be applauded for safeguarding nation’s dairy supply chain: Chairman, NDDB

18 April, 2020, Anand: Dairying in India supports livelihood of millions of small and marginal farmers and especially in the midst of this Covid pandemic income from dairying provides the much needed financial support to them. Shri Dilip Rath, Chairman, NDDB applauded the efforts made by all individuals involved in the dairy value chain ensuring that millions of rural milk producers get incomes to meet their basic needs while consumers get milk and milk products to meet their nutritional requirements.

When the entire nation is under lockdown, the dairy sector did not cease to work. Millions of the animal owning households, majority small holders, continued to milk the cows and buffaloes, sell the household surplus to the village collection centres, where milk continued to be pooled, cooled and then transported to milk processing plants. After processing and pasteurisation, packed milk got dispatched to marketing outlets, which is finally reaching millions of consumers across the country. The exemplary service of all the milk producers and producer-owned institutions in ensuring stability of the nation’s dairy supply chain during this Covid storm is incomparable.

Shri Rath conveyed that Producer-owned institutions faced several challenges - some of them being- increase in milk procurement from farmers as private/unorganised players have stopped/reduced procurement, reduction in consumer demand due to lack of accessibility, closure of sweet shops, restaurants, tea stalls, school milk programme etc., non-availability of required manpower for processing, restrictions in interstate transportation, hindrances in supply of raw materials etc.

A glance at pre-Covid 19 (1-15 March 2020) and post-Covid 19 (16 March-12 April 2020) period reveals that percentage of liquid milk sales to milk procurement has declined by 8.8% in the Post COVID-19 period.

Chairman, NDDB suggested ways for minimising the gap between milk procured and milk sale. All of us need to think of penetrating the rural markets and entering E-Commerce business portals with some innovative ideas. Some milk federations have arranged tie-up of its distributors with different E-Retailers for seamless delivery of milk and milk products to consumers. They are also arranging doorstep delivery and distribution of packed milk and milk products through milk vans at select locations during a particular time slot.

A scheme - “Supporting Dairy Cooperatives & Farmer Producer Organisations engaged in dairy activities” has been announced by the Govt. of India to assist the milk federations/unions by providing soft working capital loan so that regular farmer payments can be made.

Shri Rath appealed to the milk federations/unions to follow the advisories/guidelines issued by GOI/NDDB to minimise the spread of virus. He said that although the dairy cooperatives/milk producer companies and milk producers are facing difficult times, we are sure that our institutions are resilient enough to overcome this crisis. Post Covid 19 we will definitely evolve stronger.