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Milk Crisis in Jharkhand

August 2, 2011

Ushinor Majumdar

 

Ushinor.Majumdar@hindustantimes.com

(Printed August 2, 2011 – Jharkhand issue)august 2 Jharkhand

Ranchi: As the state reels under nearly 32% shortfall in milk supply, the state government is yet to initiate and implement a long-term scheme for uplifting dairy development in the state.

 

The massive shortage faced by Jharkhand is being addressed by supplies from Bihar State Milk Cooperative Federation Limited (COMFED), the Bihar government-run milk cooperative.

 

Jharkhand’s cooperative Jhamcofed has not yet taken off despite acquisition of some of the dairies belonging to former Bihar and currently in Jharkhand.

 

In Jharkhand more packets of Sudha, produced by Bihar, are visible compared to Medha, produced by Jharkhand.

 

After a press conference by the welfare department, the cooperative department minister, – Haji Hossain Ansari – shirked answering by claiming that the press conference was for another department [welfare].

 

In the same conference, Ansari was proposing several new schemes and reporting the status of old schemes for the welfare of scheduled caste, scheduled tribes, backward classes and minorities communities.

 

As per studies on cooperative schemes (especially dairy) in other states such as Gujarat and Rajasthan have shown that cooperatives have been responsible for massive upliftment and empowerment of backward communities.

 

Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd. (GCMMF) is based in Anand and owns the popular brand – Amul.

 

Rajasthan has shown huge initiative in milk cooperatives schemes run by women, thus, making a direct impact in – women empowerment, optimum utilisation of human resources, and enhanced cooperative activities.

 

A measly Rs 44 crores has been earmarked for Animal Husbandry, only a section of which will address the cooperative dairy issue. A greater focus on animal husbandry would go a long way in addressing the issue of non-farming income and make a huge addition to rural income.

 

As pointed out by the Jharkhand’s chief secretary at a recent event, National Bank for Rural and Agricultural Development (NABARD) has also not shown initiative in picking up on cooperatives-based activities.

 

Notably, Jharkhand government has appointed BAIF Development Research Foundation to look at improving the state of animal husbandry. BAIF has vast experience in this field and operates similar programmes in 12 states in India. It is running more than 400 of the dairy cattle development centres in Jharkhand.

 

BAIF Development Research Foundation has also been nominated for the implementation of goat breed improvement programme through establishment of 20 goat development centres in six districts namely Ranchi, Gumla, Simdega, Chaibasa, Hazaribagh and Giridih.

 

Rural cattle population in Jharkhand consist mostly of non descript type of low producing and poor draft animal. They have been cross bred with exotic bulls indiscriminately for increasing their productivity. But due to indiscriminate cross breeding, a level of exotic inheritance in the crossbreed usually happens and this leads to calf born with several reproductive disorders.

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