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Kerala Achieves Self-Sufficiency in Milk Production

Prity Barman
Prity Barman
Dairy Development of Kerala, K Raju

The Minister of Dairy Development of Kerala, K Raju, has recently confirmed that the State has achieved self-sufficiency in the production of milk. He told newspapers here that this was done in the midst of unfavorable conditions, including bad weather and the Covid-19 pandemic.

'Kerala State Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (Milma) has procured an average of 12.5 lakh liters of milk per day during 2019-2020. Sales per day totaled 13.37 lakh liters. We have had to rely on cooperative institutions in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka to meet excess demand,' the minister said.

'However, Milma procures 14.20 lakh liters a day and sales stand at an average of 13.25 lakh liters, according to figures available for January.' 

A fair number of NRIs going home have switched to the milk market, according to PA Balan Master, Chairman, Milma, in the wake of Covid-19. 'This is one of the reasons for the rise in the state's milk production. We hope that their number will rise gradually’.

Increased output price

KS Mani, Chairman of the Malabar Regional Co-operative Union of Milk Producers, said that Kerala is the only state where high prices are provided to dairy farmers for their production. Meanwhile, a Milma spokesman said that on February 9, the minister will start construction on the Milma Milk Powder Plant and also devote the first phase of the Malappuram Dairy Project to Moorkanad in the Malappuram district.

The launch of the Wayanad Dairy's milk condensing plant by video conference will also be conducted in the same function, Mani said. ‘In the Malabar region, two of the three districts leading to milk production are situated. The purchase in Malabar last year was 1.26 lakh liters higher than revenue. The surplus was used to supply the trade unions in Thiruvananthapuram and Ernakulam.’

Milk procurement in Malabar has hit an excess of 2.12 lakh liters per day owing to the fillip in the dairy sector and the crisis in other work sectors, the minister explained. Milma's own milk powder plant needs such a scenario. Work would be finished in one year on the initiative, he said.

In production, Wayanad tops

The Moorkanad plant will have an initial installed capacity to manufacture 10 metric tons of milk powder per day and will be constructed at a cost of approximately 53.93 crore. Of this, ₹15.50 crore will come from the Department of State Dairy Production; ₹32.72 crores from the Nabard Rural Infrastructure Development Fund; and ₹5.17 crore from the Union of Provincial Cooperative Milk Producers of Malabar.

Wayanad enjoys the distinction of being Kerala's largest milk production district, and it has been selected by the Centre as one of the country's 'milk-friendly' districts. Using the ₹ 3.1 crore given under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana, and the Union's own fund of ₹ 1.20 crore, the first state milk condensing factory, which is completely functional and has a capacity of 3,000 liters per hour, was set up. Using the condensed milk produced in the factory, production of value-added goods can also be increased, the spokesman said.

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