With cattle-rearers from parched Saurashtra looking for greener pastures,at least two of the big dairies that supply milk to Amul-maker GCMMF have reported a drastic dip in their daily collection over the past few days even as the apex body of dairy co-operatives in state maintained its total milk procurement has actually gone up compared to last year.
Sursagar Dairy in Surendranagar has reported a dip of nearly 40,000 litres in its daily milk procurement. Due to lack of fodder and acute scarcity of water,cattle-rearers from talukas like Dhrangadhra,Halvad,Wadhvan and Chotila have started migrating. The immediate effect is a short-fall of 40,000 litres in our daily milk procurement, said H A Nadiadwala,the CEO of Surendranagar District Co-operative Milk Producers Union Ltd which operates and manages the Sursagar Dairy.
In August last year,we were procuring about 2.6 lakh litres per day (LLPD) of milk from farmers. This figure has fallen to 2.2 lakh litres in the first week of August this year, Nadiadwala said.
Sursagar Dairy currently procures milk from over one lakh milk producers/farmers spread over 650 milk co-operative societies of Surendranagar district. Chotila (111),Dhrangadhra (72),Halvad (74) and Wadhvan (56),which are seeing cattle migration,have the most number of milk co-operative societies.
The Surendranagar District Co-operative Milk Producers Union Ltd is one of the 17 district co-operative milk producers unions that together supply over 100 LLPD of milk to Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd (GCMMF).
We had procured 2.42 lakh litres per day in July and were ahead by 20,000 litres for the month (compared to figures last year), he said,adding that a number of cattle-rearers have migrated to Bhaal region (low-lying region where water collects),which is spread across the two districts of Bhavnagar and Ahmedabad.
Sarhad Dairy,a milk co-operative based in Kutch that sells milk to GCMMF,has also reported a dip. There is an acute crisis in Kutch district because of migration of cattle. Milk procurement at our dairy has fallen by 50%. Our daily procurement currently stands at just 75,000 litres per day compared to the average 1.66 lakh litres daily that we procured in August-September last year, says Valmjibhai R Humbal,chairperson of Sarhad Dairy.
There is no grass,no water for cattle. This has prompted people to sell their livestock, Humbal said,adding that the water and fodder scarcity has caused the prices of livestock like buffalo to dip by over 50%.
GCMMF is in a wait-and-watch mode. GCMMF Managing Director R S Sodhi said,We are closely watching the situation. There is no immediate cause for worry as our current milk procurement is about 15% more than what it was last year. If cattle-rearers migrate,there will be a dip (in milk collection) in one region and a subsequent increase in another.
According to Sodhi,the cost of milk production was on the rise due to hike in prices of fodder. The prices of fodder for livestock has gone up by 30% as compared to last year, he said.