Nagpur: Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh today on Sunday said that there is tremendous potential in the dairy sector of Maharashtra. He was speaking on the eve of inaugurating the refurbished milk processing plant of Nagpur Dairy plant at Nagpur, which has been upgraded as per the agreement signed between government of Maharashtra and National Dairy Development Broad (NDDB).
The Mother Dairy Fruit and Vegetable Pvt Ltd, a subsidiary of NDDB, will operate the plant and take up the dairy development initiatives for setting up of milk procurement network in Maharashtra.
Mr Singh said dairy profession can be a major source of livelihood for rural households in Maharashtra’s Vidarbh and Marathwada regions where the spate of suicides still continue. The minister said that according to the data of May 28, the total production of milk in 2015-16 reached 156 million tonnes, which is 6.28 per cent annual growth rate.
Based on available statistics, the milk production during 2014-2017 has increased by 16.9 per cent compared to the year 2011-2014 per capita availability of milk in India is 337 gms per day while world average only 299 gms per day, the Union agriculture minister said and added saying that as per Maharashtra is concerned milk production increased from 9.54 million tonnes in 2014-15 to 10.1 million tonnes in the year 2015-16 with the growth rate of 6.4 per cent which is more than country’s growth rate of 6.28 per cent. The minister also said that according to the 19th census of livestock 2012, the population of livestock in Maharashtra has dropped by 9.5 per cent from 3.59 million in 2007 to 3.25 crore in 2012.
The minister further said that frequent famine, dry wells, dry hand pumps, low-productive animals are common in Marathwada and Vidarbha region of Maharashtra, due to which the dairy industry is more progressive in the western part of the state, where more than one-third of the state’s milch cattle inhabits. “Mother dairy has been targeting 3000 villages of 11 districts of Vidarbh and Marathwada regions in Maharashtra which includes Amravati, Akola, Nagpur, Jalna, Wardha, Buldhana, Latur, Osmanabad, Chandrapur ,Yavatmal and Nanded district for procurement of milk in the first 3 years,” the minister said, adding that Mother Dairy has completed renovated this dairy plant in periods of just 4 months and its present capacity is 50,000 liters per day , which can be expanded to 2,00,000 per day.
“Mother Dairy is also setting up milk outlets in the city of Nagpur, which will provide a broad range of products and also offer digital payment options for consumers,” Mr Singh added.
While talking on the occasion, the Union minister for road transport and highways, Nitin Gadkari said suicide by farmers will not stop till over 50 per cent farm land comes under irrigation. Gadkari also said agriculture mechanisation will not just help in enhancing income of farmers , so farmers, in addition to regular agriculture crops , should start producing prawns of good quality as they have high demand in countries such as Dubai and Singapore.
Maharashtra Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, minister for state agriculture Pandurang Phundkar, Minister for animal husbandry and dairy development for Maharashtra Mahadev Jankar and other dignitaries were also present on the occasion.