With the water level receding in most parts of north Gujarat’s Banaskantha district, which experienced heavy rains in the past few weeks, milk procurement by the country’s biggest district-level dairy, Banas Dairy, is gradually picking up the pace.
With the water level receding in most parts of north Gujarat’s Banaskantha district, which experienced heavy rains in the past few weeks, milk procurement by the country’s biggest district-level dairy, Banas Dairy, is gradually picking up the pace. The District Cooperative Milk Producers Union, which usually procures around 38 lakh litre of milk daily, had to cut down its procurement volume as excessive rains in the district led to disruption. Procurement by Banas Dairy declined to around 15 lakh litre daily.
“Except for the few villages where road connectivity is yet to be established, we have commenced collection of milk from all other villages in the district through our 1,400 collection centres,” Banas Dairy managing director Bipin Patel told FE. At present, around 36 lakh litre is being procured from farmers daily in the district. Banas Dairy had reported a turnover of Rs 7,500 crore in FY17.
The dairy has a share of around 25% of total milk procurement carried out by the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation, popularly known as Amul. However, overall milk supply by Amul across the country had not been impacted as the rain hasn’t caused much havoc to other key milk-procuring districts in the state such as Mehsana and Sabarkantha.
Milk procurement by Banas Dairy, from around 3.4 lakh farmers in the district, was severely disrupted because of heavy rains in the last week of July. “Since the last couple of days, there has not been much rains, thus we are trying to restore our procurement operations,” Patel said. The dairy, through its network of 1,422 village-level milk-procuring societies, last fiscal procured around 38 lakh litre milk per day on an average, while its peak procurement has crossed 49 lakh litre milk per day. The cooperative has the capacity to process around 48 lakh litre of milk daily.
After about a week, the Gujarat revenue department has declared Patan as well as Banaskantha as disaster-affected districts. State government officials have started survey works for assessing damages to crops and property.
Besides Banaskantha, the district dairy cooperative also procures milk from farmers in Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarkhand and Delhi. A chunk of the milk procured also gets transported to the National Capital Region and Kanpur through tankers.