Over 50,000 villagers supplied milk in lockdown, state govt pays them Rs 45 crores
In Uttarakhand, milk cooperatives have 51,121 members, comprising mostly villagers and farmers who supply milk, and are paid directly by the Aanchal Dairy on a monthly basis.Updated: Jul 05, 2020 19:48 IST
Amidst various odds and fear of coronavirus disease outbreak, over 50,000 Uttarakhand villagers continued supplying milk to state government’s flagship milk brand ‘Aanchal Dairy’ during the three-month-long Covid-19 lockdown period. The state government has paid such villagers a total of Rs 45 crores for milk supply during these months, said officials.
Two lakh litres of milk was daily procured from 2551 village-level cooperatives based in 13 districts till May end this year, according to the data released by the state Dairy Development Department.
In Uttarakhand, milk cooperatives have 51,121 members, comprising mostly villagers and farmers who supply milk, and are paid directly by the Aanchal Dairy on a monthly basis.
R Meenakshi Sundaram, secretary dairy development in the state said, “Our main focus is on uninterrupted procurement of milk and payments to members of the cooperatives. During the lockdown, all the cooperative members had a regular source of income for supplying the milk and the payments were made directly into their bank accounts.”
The procured milk from these cooperative members is supplied to the Aanchal Dairy for packaging and sale across the state on a daily basis.
“Milk and dairy product start-ups would play a key role in providing sustainable livelihood opportunities to locals in Uttarakhand. All the factors like climate, environment and awareness- in our state, makes it a natural hub for the start-ups involved in the milk and milk products. Our department has come out of schemes for owning milk production units,” added Sundaram.
Of the thirteen districts, Nainital has the highest number of milk cooperatives at 550 with 21,320 members and a collection of 86,805 litres of average milk daily.
Dehradun has 292 milk cooperatives with 2538 members who supplied 17,332 litres of milk daily during the lockdown. Similarly, Haridwar has 252 milk cooperatives with over 2755 members who supplied 13191 litres of milk daily during the lockdown.
Officials from Aanchal Dairy explain that they did not reduce demand for milk despite the outbreak and will use the surplus milk in anganwadis and mid-day meal schools.
Jaideep Arora, joint director of Aanchal Dairy said, “We did not reduce the procurement of milk during the lockdown and used the surplus milk for products like milk powder and white butter. Around 200 tonnes of milk powder will be used in Anganwadi centres and mid-day meals in schools across the state.”