The deep impact of dairy development in the rural ecosystem created by the focused efforts of Milk Mantra was appreciated by Canara Bank at a function in Konark on Thursday. While there are several schemes and mandates for banks to extend loans to farmers, almost all banks in Odisha face the challenge of identifying genuine farmers and an ethical system to implement the loan; however with Milk Mantras unique Ethical Milk Sourcing network, several leading banks including Canara bank have a tripartite agreement with Milk Mantra to disburse loans.
While farmers’ suicidedue to crop failure, financial crisis and indebtedness has shaken up the entire state,200 Milk Mantra dairy farmers of Gop block –Mahalpada, Oreiand Biripada villages of Puri district participated in the exhibition organized on the occasion of ‘Founders’ Day Celebration’ by Canara Bank to showcase the new ray of life for the farmers.
“I was a crop farmer. My joint family was entirely dependent on our parental small farming land. Thank god, I got the idea of doing dairy farming side by side from a Milk Mantra sourcing executive. Otherwise, I would have lost all my earnings this year. After starting with just one cow, I joined Milk Mantra’s farmers’ network in 2013. I found it very profitable and ethicalas the company pays timely and fairly directly to the farmers avoiding third party intervention. I am proud that I pour only pure milk with Milk Mantra. Now I have three cows. The company also facilitated me with a loan from Canara Bank, Konark to buy two good cows and expand the business. Now we are not fully dependent on crop farming”, said Jayant Kumar Das, a farmer of Mahalpada village.
The founders’ Day celebration was organized with an aim to showcase the success of the bank for being instrumental in developing the rural economy with the help of Milk Mantra where the children of Mahalpada village performed a chorus song written by the farmers to mark the life changing initiative taken by Canara bank and Milk Mantra. Attending the programme as guests Shaktivel Nagarajan (VP, Sourcing of Milk Mantra), Dr. Mousumie Mohapatra (Extension Manager, Milk Mantra), N M Patra (Divisional Manager, Canara Bank) and Prasant Kumar Sahoo (Branch Manager, Canara Bank, Konark) visited each and every cow to judge them on the basis of their health and farmer’s knowledge of taking care of them. Three of the farmers owning the best cows awarded at the end of the programme.
“The tripartite loan disbursement initiative was started under our unique Ethical Milk Sourcing programme in order to empower the networkof farmers. Apart from the loans, we also provide lot of extension services such as cattle feed, health camps, cattle insurance, training & awareness etc. under this programme. As a result of which more than 35000 farmers have joined our ethical sourcing network in 4 years and many more are joining the”, said Dr. Sakthivel Nagarajan, Vice President, Sourcing of Milk Mantra. We are thankful to the management of Canara Bank for showing faith on our farmers, he added.
Ensuring timely and fair payment for the farmers – Milk Mantra’s EMS programme is a first of its kind in dairy sector in India. Various extension services like artificial insemination, access to cattle loans from financial institutions, good quality cattle feed, and health camps etc have been instituted as part of the EMS programme. It should be noted, Milk Mantra – the fastest growing Dairy Company is now a household name through its flagship brand “Milky Moo” range of pure milk, probiotic dahi, paneer, meethimishtidahi, exciting lassi, butter milk and world’s first milk shake with haldi extracts having brand name as “Moo Shake”.