National Dairy Development Board is working with Government of Maharashtra to implement Vidarbha and Marathwada Dairy Development Project (VMDDP), which is transforming the lives of small and marginal dairy farmers in Vidarbha and Marathwada regions of Maharashtra. Dairying has turned in as the ray of hope to ease farmers’ distress with NDDB’s initiatives enhancing the income of more than 91,000 farmers by providing fair share of consumer price.
Shri Dilip Rath, Chairman, NDDB said, “Vidarbha and Marathwada have been the most drought affected regions, making it agriculturally distressed; therefore dairying in such adverse climatic conditions can create additional sources for livelihood of farmers. Taking the cause forward, NDDB through its subsidiary Mother Dairy intervened in setting up of milk procurement infrastructure to facilitate the larger objective of rural prosperity by providing better remuneration to the farmers of the region.”
NDDB and Government of Maharashtra signed an MoU in 2013 for taking up dairy development in drought prone Vidarbha and Marathwada regions to make dairying a source of sustainable livelihood and poverty alleviation for milk producers. MDFVPL refurbished the Nagpur Dairy plant, which has milk processing capacity of 2 lakh litres per day.
Under the project, on an average 1,85,000 litres of milk is procured every day at 1,454 Milk Pooling Points (MPPs) and products are being supplied to more than 2,350 milk booths franchisee outlets and retailers in about 40 cities. At present, milk is being procured from dairy farmers residing in around 2,503 villages of 10 districts – Amravati, Yavatmal, Wardha, Nagpur, Chandrapur and Buldhana – in Vidarbha and Nanded, Osmanabad, Latur and Jalna in Marathwada. Electronic weighing/testing facility is deployed to ensure a transparent system wherein farmers can observe the weight, quality results and value of their milk poured. A computerised printed slip is provided to each farmers and they receive their payments directly in their bank accounts which ensures transparency. It is to be noted that almost 30 per cent of the members are women and a further emphasis is being laid to increase their participation.
To enhance the milk production and further increase dairy farmers’ income, good quality cattle feed is being provided to members covering 319 villages and mineral mixture to members covering 265 villages at reasonable prices, sourced from various parts of the state. Conserving green fodder in the form of silage is one of the best options available to ensure regular supply of quality fodder to bovines, especially during lean season. For which, farmers are being trained in silage making.
Besides providing liquid milk to the consumers, Mother Dairy has launched products like curd, mishti doi/yoghurt, buttermilk milk, Tadka chhaas, ghee, orange burfi, sweets, flavoured milk, milk shake, tetra lassi, lassi fresh, ice cream, butter, paneer, cheese, dairy whitener, UHT milk, UST cream, Safal products and Dhara edible oils. Its daily value added product sale has already touched the mark of 6,800 Kg.
Under the project, Maharashtra Animal & Fishery Sciences University (MAFSU) and NDDB signed an MoU to promote livestock farm development activities including fodder development activities through scientifically managed production of quality fodder and ethno-veterinary medicinal plants on the Farms of MAFSU located across Maharashtra. MAFSU and NDDB also agreed in arranging demonstration of fodder production & conservation technologies and ethno-veterinary medicinal plants to the farmers and other stakeholders, augmenting livestock productivity for up-gradation of native breeds, developing dairy and dairy composite products, development of nutraceuticals for nutritional purposes, customized dairy products, enhancing farm management practices & other research/developmental activities.
NDDB in collaboration with All India Radio has launched Radio Samvad – an awareness series on radio for dairy farmers of Vidarbha and Marathwada region. Every Tuesday and Friday, a 30-minute episode is broadcasted from Nagpur, Jalgaon, Aurangabad, Osmanabad and Nanded radio stations on subjects related to scientific dairy animal management. Subject experts from NDDB are conducting the sessions in which dairy farmers are taking keen interest.