Credit for the growth of dairy industry in India must essentially go to the cooperative sector but over time and involvement of the private sector, private dairies have certainly supplemented the growth of the domestic dairy industry.
Consider Tamil Nadu, second only to Gujarat in milk production, with the organised players including the cooperative and private sector handling about 70 lakh litres of milk daily. Here, the Tamil Nadu Cooperative Milk Producers’ Federation handles over 27 lakh litres of milk daily and Hatsun Agro Product, the largest private sector dairy in India handles about 21-24 lakh litres. Together the two players handle about 50 lakh litres of milk daily. The significance is the value addition that the two provide to the rural areas, by supporting dairy farmers.
R. G. Chandramogan, Chairman and Managing Director, Hatsun Agro says dairy output is growing as farmers see a better opportunity in the assured weekly income from milk supplies than agriculture, which is a seasonal operation. Also, there is the assured offtake and stable prices.
But the increase in milk procurement needs to be utilised. This can happen with a diversified product base and expanding the markets. The industry needs to be supported with adequate services at the farm level for dairy farms to grow.
Hatsun Agro has adopted significant initiatives in this direction. It processes nearly 13 lakh litres of milk obtained from dairy farms into branded milk, ice creams and related products while the balance is converted to dairy ingredients, particularly milk powder and ghee. This helps absorb the growing milk output from the farms and ensures adequate income to farmers. Apart from procuring milk, the company has taken major initiatives to secure dairy farms. Hatsun Agro’s team of veterinarians carry out over six lakh artificial inseminations annually at the dairy farm level. This ensures the availability of about one lakh additional female calves to keep the dairy production pipeline stable. The veterinarians provide a range of preventive checks to ensure the health of animals.