The National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) has appealed all milk cooperatives and corporates of the country to support its initiative ‘Gift Milk’.
NDDB through its newly established NDDB Foundation for Nutrition is working towards sponsoring a glass of milk for the underprivileged children of the country.
While delivering the keynote address at the 44th Dairy Industry Conference with the theme ‘Dairying in India 2030: Make in India’ organized by the Indian Dairy Association at Karnal, NDDB’s chairman T Nanda Kumar urged various PSUs and corporate houses to channel their CSR funds towards sponsoring a glass of milk.
“Many of country’s hungry and under-nourished population live in the rural and backward areas and milk as a provider of nutrition and dairying as a provider of employment and income have to be recognized as effective development interventions in the context of prosperity of the rural and backward areas,” he said.
He said that milk procurement by the cooperatives averaged at 405 lakh litres per day (LLPD) during April 2015 to January 2016, up by 14% compared to the same period last year.
“In absolute terms, the cooperatives received 50 LLPD additional milk per day, while they could sell only 10 LLPD. This excess milk supply is coming from dairy farmers who have been abandoned by the private players. Since they find milk collection and conversion into commodities uneconomic in the present market conditions, cooperatives have become the only saviour of the milk producers,” he said.
He stressed that at a time when the external outlook does not appear promising, it is important that all stakeholders work together to safeguard the interests of domestic milk producers.
He said India’s small holder dairy production system has contributed substantially to the national milk production and to agricultural GDP.
“From a low base of 22 metric million tonnes (MMT) in 1970, milk production has grown to 146 MMT in 2014-15, with a significant improvement in the per capita availability of milk at 322 grams per day,” he said.