In a revival for cooperative dairies in Uttar Pradesh, an intervention by the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) has drastically lifted the milk processing of Varanasi Milk Union. The capacity utilisation of the union’s dairy plant has increased from less than 5 per cent to about 50 per cent now.

In a statement on Wednesday, Meenesh Shah, Chairman, NDDB, said, “When we took over the Varanasi Milk Union’s 2 lakh litres per day capacity dairy plant, just more than a year ago, it was operating merely at 6,000 to 7,000 litres, which is now operating at more than one lakh litre per day.”

The dairy development body, the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), has set up a roadmap for the revival of the Pradesh Cooperative Dairy Federation, popularly known as Parag Dairy, and discussions are on to bring its idle capacities to better utilisation

“This reinforces that by providing better services to milk producers and bringing about professionalism and efficiencies in operations, the dairy cooperatives can be revived in Uttar Pradesh. However, revival of the dairy sector in Uttar Pradesh through cooperative strategies would require the joint efforts of Dairy Cooperatives and Milk Producers’ Organizations,” Shah said, adding that NDDB is committed to the development of the dairy sector in Uttar Pradesh, for which it is working with the Government of Uttar Pradesh.

Shah informed that major initiatives have been taken by NDDB in Uttar Pradesh to support dairy cooperatives, including Milk Producer organisations in Banaras, Gorakhpur, and Raebareli, among others.

Acknowledging the need for better availability of feed and fodder, for which milk producers spend about 70 per cent of the producer price, Shah said that NDDB has taken major initiatives in this regard, which include the promotion of certified fodder seeds under the National Livestock Mission as well as the formation of Fodder Plus FPOs.

Other initiatives that are being undertaken include silage making, securing crop residue, total mixed ration, etc