UP milk federation seeks state guarantee for Rs 96 cr bank loan
The Uttar Pradesh Pradeshik Milk Cooperative Federation (Parag) has sought state guarantee to get bank loans to the tune of Rs 96 crore for paying dairy farmers. The move comes after the Gujarat government bailed out its cooperative Amul with a Rs 300 crore package.
Amul had minimised milk purchase, as it had stocks of 1,20,000 tonnes of dry milk. This was causing problems for dairy farmers, who got relief only after the cooperative received help from the Gujarat government.
UP is the only state where the milk cooperative federation is buying milk from farmers at a high rate of Rs 32 to Rs 38 per litre, selling it in the market at Rs 52 per litre.
Also, despite having huge stocks of milk powder with it, the UP federation is still buying milk from farmers to support them. “The federation has 1,200 tonnes of milk powder and 500 tonnes of butter stocked with it. However, over two lakh dairy farmers are dependent on the federation. Once we get a state guarantee for loan, the farmers will get a big relief,” said an official.
Principal secretary, dairy development and animal husbandry, SM Bobde said that unlike Karnataka,Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab, where dairy farmers were throwing milk on roads in protest, UP farmers associated with Parag were making good money.
“In Karnataka, dairy farmers are getting paid just Rs 19 to 21 per litre and the milk is sold for around Rs 48 a litre. Whereas in UP, the Pradeshik Cooperative Dairy Federation (PCDF) -- manufacturers of Parag -- are paying between Rs 32 and Rs 38 to farmers,” he said.
He said there were 7,000 cooperative societies buying 4 lakh litres of milk every day from 2.25 lakh dairy farmers.
Apart from Amul’s huge stock of dry milk, Mother Dairy has 55,000 tonnes of milk powder, Namaste India has 48,000 tonnes , Gyan has 37,000 tonnes and Paras has 22,000 tonnes. As a result, all these brands have minimised milk purchase from dairy farmers. However, Parag still continues to buy milk from farmers and is also offering better rates than others, said officials.
HEAVY INVESTMENT IN DAIRY SECTOR
“Uttar Pradesh is going to invest heavily (Rs 15,000 crore) in its dairies during the next five years. Ten new plants will be set up by PCDF in Gorakhpur, Jhansi, Kanpur, Lucknow, Bareli, Meerut, Allahabad, Faizabad, Varanasi and Moradabad, while four existing plants at Noida, Allahabad, Jhansi and Aligarh will be upgraded,” said Bobde.
UP is the country’s leading milk producing state, accounting for nearly 17% of the total production that stands at around 163.7 million tonnes, according to the Basic Animal Husbandry and Fisheries Statistics (2016-17) released by the Centre a few months ago. It is followed by Rajasthan, MP and Gujarat.
However, sources said UP’s drawback was that only 12% of the total milk produced here was processed in the organised sector for making milk products against the national average of 17%.
The government’s new thrust on the dairy sector aims at taking this figure to an ambitious 30% in the next five years, said officials.