The state government Monday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) to increase milk production in Vidarbha and Marathwada.
The MoU was signed on the Legislature premises here by Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and NDDB Chairman Amruta Patel.
Speaking on the occasion,Chavan said: Despite Vidarbha package,Chief Ministers package and the Prime Ministers package that provided for dairy development,milk production in the region didnt improve. In western Maharashtra,dairy has always helped farmers cope with agricultural crisis. NDDB has done very good work in the country through its Mothers Dairy initiative. NDDB will work with the regions farmers through a New Generation Company to be run by the farmers on cooperative basis.
Patel expressed confidence that the agreement would pave the way for increasing milk production in the two regions of Maharashtra.
The NDDB will be given the 9.88-acre Nagpur Milk Scheme land on a 30-year lease for a Rs 50-crore milk processing centre.
It will also get 19.49 acres in Bhiwandi on a similar lease to run its operations for a milk processing centre worth Rs 150 crore.
Both investments will be done by the NDDB.
Dairy Development Secretary Anil Diggikar told The Indian Express: Vidarbha and Marathwada together have about 22 lakh cattleheads,which should ideally give 65 lakh litre milk per day. Actually,only 10 lakh litres get collected due to poor management practices. NDDB will bring in expertise like better fodder,breed improvement etc,set up cold chains and improve the overall scenario.
The Nagpur plant will get new machinery to process 3 lakh litres brought from the two regions daily. Currently,it is processing only 15,000 litres.
The Bhiwandi plant will process 5 lakh litres daily,serving Mumbai city that needs about 65 lakh litres of milk daily.
The New Generation Company will be a cooperative registered under the Companies Act as per the new amendment made to the Cooperative Act. It will facilitate procurement of loan from banks with a bank representative getting on board of the company. The advantage with such a company would be to help farmers with stable prices,which fluctuate a great deal from a low during the peak production season to a high during low production season when the business is handled by private companies, Diggikar added.