What have been the steps taken by the board to boost dairy development in recent years and how successful have these been?
Currently, we are working in several states, including Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Assam and Maharashtra, to revive dairy cooperatives. In Jharkhand, we are running the state dairy federation and processing and procurement of milk in the state has crossed 0.2 million litres daily from only 5,000 to 6,000 litres a few years back.
We are forming a joint venture with the Assam government with a target of daily procurement and processing of a million litre of milk in the next five years. We took over management of Varanasi Milk Union last year where milk procurement was only around 12,000 litres per day.
Currently, we are processing 0.1 million litre milk daily and aim to double the capacity soon. After turning around the Varanasi union, we will try to take up other unions in Uttar Pradesh, which is the biggest producer of milk in the country. The board is strengthening dairy cooperatives in Marathwada and Vidarbha in Maharashtra.
What are the relative roles you see for cooperative or farmer producer organisations (FPOs)?
We traditionally support the setting up cooperatives.
FPOs and Farmers’ Producer Companies (FPCs) too are similar to cooperatives, the only difference being that cooperatives are registered under respective state act while FPOs and FPCs are registered under the Companies Act. We provide services to both the organisations. With the co-operation ministry, we are planning to establish dairy co-operatives in panchayats which can provide market linkage to farmers.
Will NDDB expand its role in supporting private organised dairy majors?
It’s a statutory requirement that we focus on promoting co-operatives. However, we provide various veterinary services to farmers whether or not they are associated with co-operatives. Under the Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development, we have agreed to provide services to farmers as well as private units. But on the question of whether we can provide loans to big private players, that’s not our motto.
What are the measures NDDB is initiating to boost oilseeds production?
In collaboration with Karnataka Oilseeds Growers’ Federation, we are expanding the area under sunflower cultivation. We are commercialising the high yield variety KBSS 41 of sunflower seeds developed by Indian Institute of Oilseeds Research, Hyderabad.
Recently, we have signed an MoU with University of Agricultural Sciences, Bengaluru for large scale sunflower seed production. Once seeing the response in Karnataka in sunflower seed production (currently India imports sunflower oil from Ukraine) we will work in Gujarat for boosting groundnut production and mustard output in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.
We will be selling sunflower edible oil under the Dhara brand name.
What is the status of the second phase of the National Dairy Plan supported by the World Bank?
The first phase of the NDP plan as a central sector scheme was implemented with an investment of Rs 2,242 crore during 2011-12 to 2018-19 across 18 states. This enhanced the productivity of milch animals and provided market access to milk producers.
The next phase of NDP is likely to get approval by next year. We have conducted discussions with the World Bank team and we have submitted detailed projects to the government. As of now, the project cost is around Rs
1,400 crore out of which Rs 1,200 crore would be the grant component. As total outlay is less compared to NDP-I, we will not be able to cover the states.
The World Bank is keen to work in a focussed manner rather than spreading it across the country. We are thinking of covering about six states — Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Sikkim.
The project would support increasing fodder production and it would support ethnoveterinary medicine to take care of antimicrobial resistance issues amongst the animals.