HISTORY OF INDIAN MARKET MILK INDUSTRY

Beginning in organized milk handling was made in India with the establishment of Military Dairy Farms.  Handling of milk in Co-operative Milk Unions established all over the country on a small scale in the early stages.  Long distance refrigerated rail-transport of milk from Anand to Bombay since 1945  Pasteurization and bottling of milk on a large scale for organized distribution was started at Aarey (1950), Calcutta (Haringhata, 1959), Delhi (1959), Worli (1961), Madras (1963).  Establishment of Milk Plants under the Five-Year Plans for Dairy Development all over India. These were taken up with the dual object of increasing the national level of milk consumption and ensuing better returns to the primary milk producer. Their main aim was to produce more, better and cheaper milk.

DAIRY INDUSTRY IN KERALA

Milk is an unavoidable element in the life of Keralites. In olden days, Kerala was far ahead in production of milk. But due to several reasons the production of milk is defined. Milk producers in Kerala are in the grip of a major crisis following the flow of large quantity of milk from outside the State at lower prices. According to a survey, the state produces 20.61 lakhs tons of milk per annum. The production, according to market sources, is insufficient to meet the demand of the state’s population. As a result, Kerala has become a major market for milk produced in neighboring States. Supplies from Tamil Nadu meet around 60% of the daily demand milk. Rapid increase in milk processing and marketing companies has resulted in tough competition leading to cut in prices. Thus, availability of milk at low prices from other States has created a crisis for the milk producers in the State farmers said. A dairy expert told Business Line that the only solution to the crisis was production of “good and pure milk” by which the Kerala milk producers could compete and recapture the market Dairy Development Board was created in 1962. The livestock Development and Milk Marketing Board for milk procurement and marketing was set up, followed by the Kerala Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation. But all these have failed to save the dairy sector and the farmers. One of the major problems being encountered is the non-availability of modern facilities to process and stock the entire milk produced during the peak season (in the rainy months). As a result, during these months, not only are restriction imposed on the quantity procured but there is a cut in the prices by the co-operatives. The State has over 2,972 milk marketing their functioning unfavourable to the development of the sector. When the societies run by NGOs procure milk at Rs.1o per litre from the farmers by providing subsidy for cattle feeds, in Kerala they were being discouraged with taxes. Kerala requires 68.5 lakh tons of cattle fodder, of which they only 40 tons are available within the State. Non-availability of land and improved variety of fodder grass has become major impediments.

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