Around a million farmers are involved in the National Dairy Development Board's activities, earning a profit of Rs. 15 - 20 per litre by selling milk to its various federations, a top official said here.
T Nanda Kumar, chairman of National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), said Gujarat topped the list in milk production followed by Karnataka. The total milk production in the country was over 140 million tonnes in 2014 - 15.
Nanda Kumar said the National Dairy Plan - 1, now into its third year, is being implemented in 15 states, which account for more than 90 percent of the country's milk production, over 87 percent of the breedable cattle and 98 percent of the country's fodder resources.
Initially, NDP - I was approved for implementation in 14 milk potential states by the NDDB with a total outlay of Rs. 2, 242 crore for a period of six years from 2011 - 12 to 2016 - 17. Now the implementation period has been extended by two years till 2018 - 19 to achieve key outputs.
Nanda Kumar informed that NDDB now procures 400 million litres of milk and the two - year extension would help in achieving the desired results.
He said the government last June decided to include the three states of Uttarakhand, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh that were formed in 2000 under NDP - 1.
"It is extremely important to develop these three states, where poverty is an issue, as dairy development benefits the states socio - economically, " Nanda Kumar told IANS.
The NDDB had taken up the management of the Jharkhand State Cooperative Milk Producers Federation Limited in 2014, which has been selling milk under the Medha brand for five years.
"Once the 100, 000 litre milk processing plant in Ranchi becomes operational, more and more farmers would be joining the state milk federation because of increase in price realisation, " he said.
"More than 20, 000 farmers would be getting higher remunerative price at around Rs. 27 - Rs. 28 per litre against Rs. 16 - Rs. 17 per litre they used to get when private players used to procure milk from them, " he said.
The board has set up milk storage plants at 370 villages, where farmers from around 600 villages bring in their milk daily for purchase by the state milk federation.
However, in Jharkhand, power was a major constraint and the expenses get escalated as diesel - run milk coolers have to be pressed into service.
He said milk consumption was less in the eastern region, including Jharkhand and Assam.
NDDB, founded by Verghese Kurien, in 1965, fulfilled the desire of India's second prime minister, Lal Bahadur Shastri, to extend the success of the Anand Cooperative Milk Producers' Union (Amul) in Kaira, Gujarat, to other parts of India.
(Nityanand Shukla can be contacted at nityanand. s@ians. in)