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Kerala self sufficient in milk production, to open milk-powder plant in Malabar

V Sajeev Kumar Kochi | Updated on November 26, 2020 Published on November 26, 2020

On remembering ‘Milkman’, Milma is launching a nation-wide campaign for Kurien to be bestowed with the Bharat Ratna

Kerala has attained self-sufficiency in milk production and is poised to start a milk-powder plant in Malabar to process excess milk, the Minister for Animal Husbandry and Dairy Development K Raju said on Thursday.

The work of the plant, coming up in Malappuram, will start this financial year. It will be run by Malabar Regional Co-operative Milk Producers’ Union (MRCMPU) with technical assistance from National Dairy Development Board (NDDB). The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development will extend financial support to the plant.

The minister made the announcement after inaugurating the state-level centenary celebrations of “Milkman” Verghese Kurien, whose 1970s ‘White Revolution’ went on to make the country the world’s largest milk producer.

Marking the occasion, Milma brought out a special milk cover that carries the centenary logo of Kurien. Also released was a special postal cover of Kurien. Further, Milma launched two new products at the function.

Also read: Remembering Verghese Kurien – India’s first milkman

The minister said Kerala’s 3,500-odd cooperative societies have enabled Milma to achieve a 12.46 per cent growth in milk production during the last fiscal. This was double the national average of 6.40 per cent during 2019-20. "Despite the floods Kerala faced in 2018 and ’19 monsoons, followed by a crisis owing to Covid -19 this year, the state’s milk cooperatives have clocked an impressive turnover. The high quality of Milma’s products should soon help the establishment earn bigger markets outside Kerala and abroad," he added, noting that the cooperative has 10 lakh farmers, one-fourth of whom are women.

The minister hailed India’s refusal to sign the RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership), saying the international free trade agreement will work against India’s milk farmers. “We need to continue our fight against RCEP,” he reiterated.

Milma Chairman P Balan Master said that the federation currently procured 15 lakh litres of milk daily even as the pandemic led to a slump in the establishment’s value-added products such as butter and ghee. The 1980-founded Milma’s annual turnover stood at ₹3,300 crore in 2019-20.

Milma is launching a nation-wide campaign for Kurien to be bestowed with the Bharat Ratna, the country’s highest civilian honour. One lakh dairy farmers will send signed postcards with a request to the Prime Minister, he said.

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Published on November 26, 2020
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