Agri Business

Veterinarians’ scarcity: Milk union to finance education

Our Bureau Mangalore | Updated on August 22, 2013

The children of farmers in coastal Karnataka can now hope to become veterinarians without spending much.

The Dakshina Kannada Cooperative Milk Producers’ Union Ltd is now planning to finance the children of its farmer members to study the five-year course in veterinary science. The reason is the scarcity of veterinarians to meet the requirements of its farmer members in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts.

Raviraj Hegde, president of the milk union, said that the union, through its dairy farmers’ welfare trust, will finance the veterinary course for five children of its farmer members during this year.

The trust has estimated the cost of education of each student at around Rs 3 lakh for five years. All the actual expenses of these students will be borne by the trust, he said.

However, those who complete their veterinary course under this scheme would have to work with the Dakshina Kannada Cooperative Milk Union Ltd at least for five years.

With more than 640 milk producers’ cooperative societies in these two districts, the union has more than one lakh farmers as its members. The union faces the scarcity of veterinarians, as those graduating from the veterinary colleges in the state find jobs in the government departments, he said.

Attrition rate is also high among the new recruits in the union. He said though some of them joined the Dakshina Kannada milk union, they left the job after getting placements in the government departments. The new recruits stay for a maximum of one year, he said.

This scheme to finance veterinary education is limited only to the children of farmer members of the union, he said. Under this scheme, plans are also there to extend finance to those studying in the second and third year of veterinary course, he said.

Hegde said that Dakshina Kannada Cooperative Milk Producers’ Union Ltd is the first milk union in Karnataka to launch such a scheme. The scarcity of veterinarians is there in other district milk unions also, he said.

According to him, around 50-60 posts of veterinarians are vacant in various district milk unions in the state.

Kapu Divakara Shetty, former president of the union and member of dairy farmers’ welfare trust, told Business Line that the union set up the trust in 2009-10 with the intention of encouraging activities related to animal husbandry.

Those who complete the course under this scheme would get a minimum of Rs 25,000 a month, he said.

vinayak.aj@thehindu.co.in

Published on August 22, 2013

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