A.J. Vinayak

A.J. Vinayak focuses on issues related to agri and rural life in his surroundings. Rather than the game of cricket, the business of cricket interests him and writes on it occasionally.

A J Vinayak

To supply milk or not

A.J. VINAYAK | Updated on July 19, 2013 Published on July 19, 2013

Now, it is time for mid-day milk

Will the Karnataka Government’s scheme to supply free milk in schools be a hit? Or will it hit the milk-producing cooperatives? It depends on the milk production capacity of different districts in the State.

The Government has taken a decision to supply free milk to provide supplementary nutrition to children in anganwadis and schools from August 1.

According to the Government, the decision to increase incentives to dairy farmers by Rs 2 a litre has helped boost milk production. Now the Government wants to put the surplus production of milk into better use. With this, around 35 lakh children in anganwadis and around 65 lakh students from standard 1-10 will get 150 ml of milk for three days in a week.

It is not that all the districts in the State are surplus in milk production. The coastal districts such as Dakshina Kannada and Udupi are facing shortage in production.

Now the Government’s decision to supply free milk has put the milk producers in these districts in a bind. These two districts consume more milk and produce less. While the demand for milk in these districts is around 3.5 lakh litres a day, they produce around 2.8 lakh litres a day. The demand will be more when there are some social functions like marriages on some days. This has made the cooperative milk union to bring more milk from the neighbouring districts.

The Dakshina Kannada milk union will have to supply around 70,000 litres of milk to around 4.67 lakh students in schools under the government scheme. (The union has jurisdiction over Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts)

It is welcome that the Government is thinking of supplying milk to school students as a part of mid-day meal scheme. However, the Government’s decision to divert surplus production in some districts should not lead to a problem in districts where there is shortage in milk production.

Recently, the president of the Dakshina Kannada milk union suggested to the Government that milk powder be supplied to students in these two districts.

The Government is now planning to supply milk powders in those areas where there is no milk-producers cooperative society. It is time for it to extend that system in those districts that face shortage in milk production also.

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Published on July 19, 2013
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