The district administration and the Kalaburgi-Bidar Milk Producers’ Societies Union Ltd. will start a pilot project to reform milk societies in villages by introducing computerised milk procurement and online payment.
Tasks like measuring the volume and quality testing of milk and keeping a daily count of the milk procured in the village by evening will be automated.
Society secretaries will be trained in handling them and milk producers and farm workers will undergo an orientation session.
As many as 50 villages in the eight taluks will be taken up in the first phase. The district administration will fund the project.
“These units are being set up in villages that did not have milk producers cooperative societies. We have completed formation of societies in 27 villages. We will install the procurement machines here soon,” Deputy Commissioner Anurag Tewari said.
“A study by the Animal Husbandry Department has shown that regular payment is the most important motivator for farmers. Other factors were transparency in the procurement process that measured milk properly and money was paid according to the quality submitted. We clubbed these three things and decided to change the way a society functions,” Mr Tewari said.
Money will be transferred electronically into the bank accounts of farmers. “Our focus will be to encourage women farmers open bank accounts, keep animals and supply milk to the societies,” the DC said.
Farmers and societies will get incentives to perform. Farmers who produce the most will be rewarded with loans to buy cows and buffaloes and technical assistance. Societies that collect the highest amount of milk will get regular technology upgrades and awards. Schemes and funds of various departments will be dovetailed to provide incentives to farmers and societies, according to him.
Union president Revanasiddappa Patil said that this was the first step towards making Bidar a milk surplus district.
This will not only help poor families fight malnutrition by feeding their children with milk produced at home, but also help them get a regular source of income by selling their produce, he said.
“We want to exploit our proximity to large markets like Hyderabad and Secunderabad. We are entering into a phase where we will supply quality milk to such large markets,” Mr. Patil said.
Kalaburgi-Bidar Milk Producers’ Societies Union Ltd. gets around 60,000 litres per day, out of which 70 per cent is procured is from Bidar alone.
However the potential yield of Bidar, home to the native Deoni breed cattle, is estimated to be at least three lakh litres per day.
The milk shed scheme introduced by the State government aims at doubling procurement in the next few years and help farmers by setting up milk processing and by product making plants in the district.