Heavy rainfall in the Banaskantha district of northern Gujarat in the last few years has severely impacted milk procurement by District Co-operative Milk Producers Union or Banas dairy, the country’s biggest district level dairy which purchases on an average more than 38 lakh litres of milk daily from farmers. The milk procurement by Banas dairy, from around 3.4 lakh farmers in the district has been severely disrupted because of heavy rains which began on July 22. The dairy has a share of around 25% in total milk procurement carried out by Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation, also popularly known as Amul.
“In the last four or five days, our daily milk procurement has dropped to around 15 lakh litres mainly because of disruption of transport links in the villages,” Bipin Patel, managing director, Banas Dairy told FE. He said overall milk supply by Amul across the country has not been impacted as other key milk procuring districts in the state such as Mehsana, Sabarkantha and others have not been largely impacted by heavy rains. These torrential monsoon rains were attributed to the low pressure area that persisting over south Rajasthan few days back. Because of this weather system has lead to heavy to extremely heavy rainfall over the southern districts of Rajasthan as well as northern parts of Gujarat.
Patel said that the dairy has sent out people to assist farmers as because of excessive rains, approach roads and electricity connection, which is crucial for running chilling plants, have been snapped in many places. However, milk procurement is expected to pick up pace in the next few days as rains have stopped since Tuesday. The Banas dairy through its network of 1,422 village level milk procuring societies, last fiscal procured around 38 lakh litres milk per day on an average, while its peak procurement has crossed 49 lakh litres milk per day. The cooperative has the capacity to process around 48 lakh litres of milk daily.
Besides Banaskantha, the district dairy cooperative also procures milk from the farmers in parts of Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarkhand and Delhi. A chunk of the milk procured also get transported to the National Capital Region and Kanpur through tankers. On Tuesday, heavy rains continued to lash parts of North Gujarat that have been badly hit by floods, resulting in the relocation of more than 35,000 people from vulnerable areas. Over 2,500 people stranded in flood waters were rescued by the Air Force, Army, NDRF, BSF and SDRF.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also made aerial survey of flood hit areas of Gujarat. Meanwhile, India Meteorological Department (IMD) in a statement on Wednesday stated that heavy to very heavy rainfall occurred at isolated places over Jharkhand and east Rajasthan.