Agri Business

How farmers can milk dairy farming to double their income

R Balaji Palani | Updated on November 17, 2019 Published on November 15, 2019

Atul Chaturvedi (left), Secretary Animal Husbandry and Dairy Development, Government of India, listens to an official at Hatsun Agro Product explain operations at the control room of the feed plant as RG Chandramogan (centre), Chairman and Managing Director, Hatsun Agro, looks on   -  R Balaji

Milk yield is up, payment for milk is on time and animals have an assured source of quality feed supply from Hatsun Agro’s own feed plant, says A Paneerselvam, a dairy farmer in Tirupur District.

He has over 50 cows on his farm and is among the four lakh farmers in 10,000 villages supplying milk to Hatsun Agro which has operations spread across South India.

Farming operations

Paneerselvam is explaining some aspects of the farming operations to Atul Chaturvedi, Secretary, Animal Husbandry and Dairy Development, Government of India.

Chaturvedi was on a tour of Hatsun Agro’s facilities, including farms that supply it milk and the company’s feed factory, on Wednesday.

Paneerselvam said payment for milk is prompt and is made once in 10 days. Depending on the quality of milk, he gets an average of ₹31 a litre paid directly into his bank account.

Company officials explained that Hatsun Animal Information Service, a software that also sends out messages to farmers on the animals’ status, helps keep track of veterinary services including artificial insemination.

Hatsun has tagged over 6.2 lakh milch animals that account for about 70 per cent of the cows supplying milk to the company. The rest are also being tagged. This helps to keep track of the animals’ performance, including yield and health condition for delivery of veterinary care.

They said payments to all farmers are being made directly into their bank accounts since 2014.

Hatsun Agro, the largest private sector dairy company in India, is on track to being a ₹5,400-crore company in the current year with its turnover in the vicinity of ₹2,700 crore in the first half.

It handles over 35 lakh litres of milk daily and has a diverse product range — liquid milk under the brand name Arokya, the largest domestic milk brand, and Hatsun; dairy products, including curd, ghee, paneer under the Hatsun brand; and, ice creams under Arun and Ibaco brands.

Government drive

In an interaction following the farm visit, Chaturvedi said the government wants to encourage private investments in dairy sector. It sees the sector as a key to meeting its target of doubling farmers’ income. The livestock sector is growing at about 8 per cent per year which is comparable with that of manufacturing and services sectors, which are growing at about 8.5 per cent. Livestock sector is one of the ‘growth areas’ in terms of developing rural economy and employment generation.

He said he is studying some of the successful models in dairy farming and the visit to Hatsun Agro’s facility was a part of it.

RG Chandramogan, Managing Director, Hatsun Agro Product Ltd, said 66-68 per cent of the price of milk goes to farmers as procurement price which is among the highest globally. In the US dairy farmers get about 25 per cent. Dairy farming is a crucial source of liquidity to farmers with predictable cash flows.

The writer was in Palani at the invitation of Hatsun Agro Product Ltd

Published on November 15, 2019
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