Faced with an oversupply of milk during the national lockdown, the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) — popularly known as Amul — has hired five private plants in Rajasthan and Maharashtra that can process close to 20 lakh litres of excess milk per day and convert it into milk powder.
“We had excess milk and so, we hired five plants in Rajasthan and Maharashtra to make milk powder. These plants can process 15-20 lakh litres of milk per day,” said RS Sodhi, Managing Director of GCMMF. While three of the hired plants are in Rajasthan, two are in Maharashtra.
GCMMF procures 260 lakh litres per day of milk including 210 lakh litres from Gujarat. The rest of the milk is collected from Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. Of these, only 140 litres of milk gets sold on a daily basis which includes 50-55 litres each day in Gujarat. The rest is converted into milk products.
Currently, GCMMF has 10 plants that produce 11,000 metric tonnes of milk powder everyday, Sodhi said. He added that the milk sourced from farmers is also used to make baby food, dairy whitener, ghee, butter and other products.
The closure of hotels, restaurants and roadside tea kiosks during the lockdown is affecting the milk sales of GCMMF. Compared to the usual 50-55 lakh litres of milk sold on a daily basis in Gujarat, the Gujarat government said that 47.4 lakh litres of milk was distributed in the state on Thursday.
The Gujarat government on Thursday formally announced that it will allow farmers supplying milk to private dairies — that are currently closed due to the lockdown — to sell their produce to GCMMF.
“There are two types of milk producers in a village. One who sell their daily milk produce to the large dairies (under GCMMF). Then, there are milk producers who sell their produce to small private dairies. These small entities are closed due to the lockdown and milk producers do not know where to sell their milk. Yesterday, the Chief Minister decided that such milk producers connected with private dairies will also be allowed to sell milk to the milk cooperative unions, even if they are not a member of the unions, during the lockdown period,” said Ashwini Kumar, Secretary to Chief Minister Vijay Rupani. This has been done to ensure that the milk producers get regular income during this period, he added.
There are about 30 lakh farmers from whom GCMMF procures milk through 18,500 village societies connected with the 18 milk cooperative unions of the “Amul” Federation. Many farmers — especially in Saurashtra — are expected to bring in more milk daily and add to the GCMMF’s current supply.
“We do not see a problem in handling any excess supply of milk,” Sodhi added.
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