Wednesday, September 19, 2018

86% of the milk sold in India is safe to drink as per 2011 survey : The truth unveiled

Dear friends,

I feel that the milk quality monitoring through collaboration of various farmer's group and regulator is gaining momentum and even in last fortnight adulterated milk and milk products were caught and confiscated. Now let us start thinking beyond adulteration and dark side of our dairy trade and find out solutions to develop a safe eco system for production, collection, processing and delivery of safe milk through out the supply chain.

I was surprised to see a series of messages on social media as well as print media talking about the same old story of 68% adulterated milk and some serious concern being raised by WHO relating to milk consumption to cancer or other health hazards. With this edition of Dairy Pulse I would request everyone to just delete this virus of 68% adulterated milk ( as per 2011 survey) from our minds. I have seen even senior and wise stakeholders mentioning it . Media just loves such bites but has any one thought of impact of this news on our farmers or industry ? 

So I decided to share the actual interpretation of that report to everyone which may be verified from the report also.

Actually the title of the report must have been as captioned above in the title as 

86% of the milk being sold in India is safe to drink as per 2011 survey


Salient findings of 2011 survey  report

* Not even a single sample was detected with Hydrogen peroxide, Sugar, Starch, Urea and vegetable fat

** Only one sample had salt and two samples had neutralisers and that too from Assam, and Nagaland only.

*** 100 % samples in which detergents  found were from Eastern region only where milk is in shortage .

**** Not even a single sample from any state from North, South ,West and Central region have shown use of any unsafe adulterant in both loose, packed or in rural or urban areas.

(Isn’t it remarkable for a country of our size and with so much of milk trade in place? )

The break up of 68.4% of total non compliance out of 1791 samples from all parts of the country is as follows :

a. Non compliance arising out of fat or snf or both is : 23.7 %
b. Non compliance arising out of addition of powder with fat or snf or both ( in some cases glucose also) is : 30.6 %  
Total non compliance on fat/snf standards or addition of SMP : 54.3%

(Which makes total of non compliance or mixing of edible element for commercial gains as 54.3%. We can not make out whether this glucose was mixed in milk or not as there was not a single case wherein glucose was found alone in milk. It was always found with SMP. We may also infer that the intermediaries supplying to SMP plants may be doing it for commercial gains as they are supplying in large quantities to them. In other words the adulteration was not intended to be done in raw milk for sale directly to consumers.) 

Now let us look at the positive side of this survey which has not been mentioned in any of the media news since last seven years and not even highlighted by any stakeholder for that matter.

Not even a single sample was detected with Hydrogen peroxide, Sugar, Starch, Urea and vegetable fat. Only one sample had salt and two samples had neutralisers , rest all were detergents. Let us examine the results further.

a. Non compliance due to presence of detergents and Neutralisers : 14.05 % 
b   Non compliance due to presence of salt NaCl : 0.05 %
Total non compliance on standards or addition of detergent, neutralizer and salts : 14.1%

Which makes total non compliance of any form as 68.4%

Had media shared this report to the masses 7 years back, then our dairy industry would have been at a much better perceptual positioning with global and domestic stakeholders.

For the first time I am requesting all of you to share it with as many persons you know as possible for the benefit of the industry as well as dairy farmers.

Happy e-learning




Kuldeep Sharma
Chief Thinking Officer
Suruchi Consultants (ISO 9001:2008 Company)

+91-9810315831

Friday, September 7, 2018

Who patronizes adulterated milk and milk product industry in India ?

Dear friends,

Finally after our repetitive requests and sharing of perils of milk and milk products adulteration in Indian markets, a sliver lining was observed in last fortnight. 

There were plenty of raids by the regulator in North India on milk chilling centers and product manufacturing units especially for ghee, panir and khoa. The media also woke up and got sensitized to issue of emerging markets of analogues. Interestingly farmers association and local cooperatives also join these raids and thus reinforces their commitment towards responsible dairying.

I was also  interviewed by media and the first question being asked by them was "what's the harm in eating analogue products ? My straight response to them was that, it was more like cheating innocent consumers who were not aware that the dairy product ,which they are buying is actually not made up of dairy ingredients or from milk. It may be considered under Food Fraud even, but in the absence of very clear definition of food fraud in Indian context , I was unable to assert it further. ( Read first article "Dairy industry rues rising adoption of milk substitutes).

On the other side such products are taking away the opportunity of selling milk by the farmers ,as huge quantities of spurious milk products are being made using non dairy ingredients.

In an inspiring  interview by Sh Pawan Agarwal, CEO FSSAI (which can be watched on http://www.businessworld.in/video/FSSAI-Chief-Answers-Tough-Questions-on-Growing-Concerns-Around-Food-Safety/27-08-2018-1715/#.W4QrYaKcapc.twitter)  talked about integrating efforts of Fssai with ministry of agriculture and animal husbandry to produce safe milk at primary production level itself through sensitization.  This might sow the seeds of good farming practices at primary production levels . As industry we  also look forward for having some thing like farm safety supervisor on the lines of food safety supervisor to disseminate GAP at farmers levels in the country to make them aware of what should be done in order to grow safe food before actually it is processed at FBO level . It may begin with organic farming under Jaivik logo initiative . 

In another interview the regulator has mentioned about ongoing Milk quality Monitoring program under which real time sampling of milk in around 1100 cities in India would reveal the actual status of milk quality in the country by the end of this year including that of pesticide and insecticide traces.

I also request all responsible stakeholders of dairy industry to not to quote the misinterpreted version of milk adulteration survey 2011 in which media quoted that 68 % of milk in India is adulterated. Post that we have also conducted a milk adulteration survey 2016 -17 and now a similar study at a much larger foot print is going on. Such statement leads to a chaotic situation at global levels and it becomes very difficult for Indian dairy exporters to gain bargaining power while exporting their products in developed world. Unnecessarily they have to pass by much stringent market access as against other countries.

Now the question of the fortnight is that who patronizes this huge market of adulterated milk and milk products ? Is it being governed by some other industries ? Some could easily say that such products are manifestation of the relentless efforts of industries supplying those non dairy ingredients or chemicals . But still the question remains is  "who buys those ingredients and finally who become part of the revenue stream coming out of such spurious/analogue or adulterated milk and milk products "?

The answer is Dairy industry itself. 

If the same question is asked for some different industry then our answer is very simple e.g Who patronizes software piracy business ?.........the answer would be software industry.

So if we ask that who  patronizes adulterated milk and milk product market ?..........then why cant we use our common sense and acknowledge it to be dairy industry itself.

I am glad that last fortnight a large number of stakeholders from cooperative, multinational and private sectors have opened up and shared their concerns over adulterated ghee and analogue product market for paneer and khoa.

I leave the revered group to decide on how you could really make a difference in the lives of dairy farmers as well as safeguard the industry from the biggest Food fraud of the country in form of analogues in both organized and unorganized dairy sector.

One of the ways is simply sharing your concern with the regulator by simply dropping a mail to FSSAI with two requests for 

a. Defining analogues in the standards clearly and disallowing use of any dairy related terms in both product or brand categories and 

b. Requesting the regulator to issue a "Non dairy based product" logo for all those dairy_like products so that consumers could identify it at first glance itself.

Any other suggestion by the group is also welcome.

Happy e reading.

with best regards
-- 
Kuldeep Sharma
Chief Thinking Officer
Suruchi Consultants (ISO 9001:2008 Company)
C-49 Sector-65
Noida 201307

+91 9810315831
Safe Milk Mission : Our Goal for every Indian getting safe milk by 2025


Download Indian Dairy Map 2017 here https://tinyurl.com/y74o9uhc
12 weeks Online Dairy Development Program :  https://youtu.be/5iS432VlGc8
Safe Milk Mission in India : Greed or Compulsion :http://www.youtube.com/v/9sDKaP4ihVM
Episode 1: 3 Tips for getting safe milk by consumers : http://www.youtube.com/v/dqZ-YSZJxLQ    
Episode 2 : 3 Tips for producing safe milk at farmer end : http://www.youtube.com/v/5BQKfIFMiLQ

Friday, August 17, 2018

Lucky Number 3 : Fonterra trying their luck for the third time in India


Dear friends,

Last fortnight was full of news related to new  investments and entry of a few Multinational in dairy space. 
1.      Hindustan Unilever bought frozen dessert business of  Karnataka based Vijaykant Dairy and Food Products under the Aditya milks brand.
2.      Fonterra signed a JV with Future group
3.      Coke planned to relaunch their dairy based vio beverage vertical
4.      ITC began their polypack milk sales in Bihar
5.      Parag milk foods expanded their operations to North India by acquiring dairy processing infrastructure of Danone at Sonepat in Haryana .
6.      Britannia commenced milk procurement directly from the farmers near Pune as well as looking for some other location out of Maharashtra to expand their dairy business by setting up a plant .
7.      Doodhwala.com became the largest player selling around 27000 Liters fresh milk  through online platform and got further rounds of funding. Similar IT set up was also launched in Chennai through a promoter having an integrated dairy farm.
8.      Keventer's launched door delivery supplies of fresh milk through their online portal in Delhi and NCR.
Hearing all these news in just a fortnight is quiet motivating and inspiring for all stakeholders from the dairy sector. Still the issues of surplus stocks, over production of milk, below expectation pricing of milk for farmers are a few which needs quick redressals before certain regions in  Indian dairy sector enter into flush.

The good part is that the different departments of government and ministries are all ears to the suggestions and recommendations emerging out from various farmers group, think tanks  and industry associations for the betterment of industry and sustainability of Indian dairy farmers.

An august  forum of NDRI Graduates consisting of eminent personalities from dairy industry are planning a brainstorm on how to get Indian dairy farmers right price for their produce during their annual event on 14th and 15th sep 2018 at Karnal. We are also organizing a similar round table  in our annual conference on optimizing costs for sustainable dairying on 12th and 13th October at Pune. It would be only when every one would be contributing with their experience to find a plausible solution to this menace.

Now let me share a personal experience which led me to think more deeply on the impact of analog products in panir and cheese category on farmer's income. 

A couple of months back I received a call from a milk processor from Mumbai. He had a good sales of around 3 MT of panir per day and he was paying a good price to the farmers for milk. Suddenly a branded product from a leading dairy in western India launched a product which was sounding line panir and was made up of vegetable fat with milk solids. This product was available at around 60 % of the price of original panir . Similar cheap products were available in unpacked category also ( so called adulterated panir using vanaspati) due to absence of any standards for analog products under FSSAI.

The sale of this entrepreneur in Mumbai dropped down to 600 Kgs of panir per day and he was really in a mess. The farmers were contacting him regularly and he was not in a position to face them.Though he was trying to find solutions to make use of some technology by making panir cost effective and competitive with this analog product. When I worked on numbers then I found that if some technology could increase the yield of panir from 20 % to 30 % with full cream milk, then and only then his price could be compared to this analog product. On similar lines Mozarella cheese requires an increase in yield from 11 % to 15 % to match the price of analog with standardized milk.

I began to look at the manufacturing processes for both the products but could not find any quick solution and I better leave this issue for the research Institutes/organizations in dairy and food space space to launch studies to get better high yielding technologies  for making panir and cheese. 

In order to get the standards defined , I recommended it back to FSSAI to look at developing not only standards for analog products but also to develop labeling norms so as to prevent any culprit to sell analog dairy products with look alike names like Cheez, Paneera, Cheezy, Pizza Topping etc.

In my earlier blogs I have already mentioned about the immense adulteration in ghee segment and power of analog cream, butter (margarine) and ghee ( cooking medium ) to refrain farmers from selling their  production to  dairy industry with the shift in demand to these low cost unhealthy alternatives. 

I also request the research Institutes/labs to find appropriate technologies to identify mixing of vegetable oils in desi ghee at both qualitative and quantitative manner. We have a few sponsors who are ready to award the researcher for establishing protocol of testing adulterated ghee in a fool proof and scientifically proven manner. If required such studies could be imparted to IITs, ISC,NPL ,NDRI, and NCL also.


While the whole world including India is looking at Food frauds as the next big challenge, it is high time for industry and authorities to come together and prevent these culprits to sell products to innocent consumers due to sheer  ignorance and awareness. We have also recommended that a separate logo of non dairy product must be developed and be appropriately positioned on the packaging of such analogues so that the consumer is made aware . Even restaurants selling such analog products in their recipes must also mention that "analog panir or analog cheese used".

Looking at the large production levels of Ghee, Panir, channa and increasing demand of cheese in QSR and HORECA in the country, such practices may devoid our farmers to sell at least 10 % of their produce to the market. Most of the rasogolla manufacturers have already stopped making rasogolla with fat thus this analog might not affect the demand of milk but they might shift to making rasogolla with smp only.

At the end of the game the loser is either the farmer or the consumer. May I request all the stake holders of the industry to think over it and raise their voice and make representations to FSSAI through associations, groups or even at individual level .

It is high time for all of us to raise our voice. I alone may not be sufficient enough to handle this national crisis starting from adulterated milk itself.

Happy e learning.

with best regards

Kuldeep Sharma

Chief Thinking Officer 
Suruchi Consultants
C-49 sector-65
Noida

thinkdairy@gmail.com


Our Safe Milk Mission : Getting all consumers in India to get safe milk by 2025

Monday, July 16, 2018

Adulterated ghee and analog milk fat sector : A wolf in the sheep's clothing (65th Dairy Pulse 1st to 15th July, 2018)


Dear friends,

Last fortnight saw some good developments in terms of government extending support to dairy farmers and dairy sectors through their export subsidies policies and large players like Amul coming to the rescue of both farmers and consumers in Maharashtra. An interesting article in Business Today on organic milk farming( in which I was being interviewed by the journalist Ms Radhika  ) talked a lot about emerging trends in this sector with a few success stories. Two underlying facts about this sector as shared by me were long gestation period of this sector ( so a start up needs to be patient enough for 5-6 years at least with deep pockets) and  need of regulatory for organic foods ( on which FSSAI is already doing a commendable work). A news related to new norms for organic certification requirements from FSSAI is also part of this bulletin.

A very good news related to dairy sector is about an investment of close to 140-150 billion Rupees ( Rs 14000-15000 Crores)  in next three years as per Crisil report. Amul is looking at around 35 -40 % of this investment followed up by other leading private sector players like Hatsun, Heritage, Parag and others. It would definitely shows a positive sentiment in the sector for those who are getting too depressed due to current dairy situation in India.

An interesting article in Indian Express strongly professed the idea of India to focus on revenue generation through its livestock beyond milk also. It states that if Modi ji wishes to double the farmer's income then Livestock sector must be able to gain its revenue from both of its streams like beef and milk. In current scenario the prices of milk or prices of SMP in global market is not the only reason for farmer's pathetic position. It is like harvesting half of the crop and maintaining the rest at your farm without any realization. A farmer has to keep animals with him irrespective of their productivity and maintain them with their limited resources and have to sustain the whole dairy farm business on paltry revenue generated through milk only. In rest part of the world animals maintained kept for beef purpose are reserves to be used on a rainy day.

Now let us focus on the title of today's blog in which I am trying to highlight the perils of this analog as well as adulterated category of products which are taking away the opportunity of emerging boom in higher consumption of milk and milk products due to improvement in socio economic condition of India. These products are also responsible for poor state of dairy farmers in a benign manner.

Just look at  the news which talks about sale of Ghee flavored cheap edible oils under the label of Desi ghee in central India's markets of MP, Rajasthan etc. It is not the only region where such cases are present, you may find in whole of India desi ghee being sold either adulterated with palm oil etc or simply using ghee flavored combination of  a mixture of oils, hydrogenated ( or partially hydrogenated)  fat and some typical fat based agents like dolphin oils to adjust all the regulator's requirements of BR, RM, FFAs etc. Even some brands of large dairy players are also negotiated with their qualities through some channel partners or some unknown patrons. Currently it seems that all scientific tests requirements by FSSAI for desi ghee have been very well manipulated by these culprits and they can easily pass all the tests even after adding edible oils and other low price fat based alternatives. 

Simultaneously under the nose of all of us there is a new segment which is very comfortably strengthening its foundation which is of cooking media. These people make use of edible oil, hydrogenated fat and milk fat ( to the tune of 5% or so) and later in their advertisements or packaging use terms like Desi or Ghee in a deceptive manner. All large format modern trade including the largest one are more than happy selling them as they are much cheaper in prices and lures innocent consumers due to lack of clarity on terms being used.


Considering Ghee market to be of around 15-20000 Crores and at an average price of Rs 300/kg accounts for around 7 % of total milk being produced in India or 14 % of the total marketable surplus milk in India . In this market we are not considering the ghee made at homes in rural as well as urban India. 

Suppose that till date these people are able to replace only 5 % of the total ghee market which is a highly conservative figure for the sake of understanding the hole this sector is creating in the pockets of poor farmers. Milk equivalent of 5 % ghee equivalent is equal to half billion liters of milk or total annual milk production of whole of North Eastern states ( except Assam), Goa, Puducherry, Chandigarh, Dadar and Nagar Haveli put together.

At 10 % it is equivalent to whole of Himachal Pradesh and at 20 % you wont believe but it would cover total production of any of the states Odissha, Uttrakhand, J&K, Jharkhand  etc along with that of Delhi.

Key findings from above  : Only 5 %  adulterated ghee in market is equivalent to half billion litres of milk.


All these players from analog sector or spurious ghee supplying channels are showing better growth rates than  their dairy counterparts in all analog categories of cream, butter or cooking media on one hand or largely adulterated desi ghee  on the other hand. I am amazed that why the industry is so silent and letting these players grow and take away the rights of dairy farmers by supplying spurious products in the guise of desi ghee or butter or cream so easily.

I have already made a representation to the FSSAI for analog products and requested scientific panel in person to get the testing procedures for desi ghee redefined so that these adulterated products may be checked. I firmly believe that if the industry come together and make a proper representation to the FSSAI and other relevant authorities then surely our farmers would be able to get better prices for their products and would be able to dispose higher volumes of milk also.

In my forthcoming blogs I shall be covering on analog cheese and panir market where the situation is much worse than Ghee and fat based products.  As in case of panir and cheese the value chain is just at the door steps of farmers.

Happy e reading

with best regards

Kuldeep Sharma
Chief Thinking Officer
Suruchi Consultants (ISO 9001:2008 Company)
C-49 Sector-65
Noida 201307
thinkdairy@gmail.com

Sunday, July 1, 2018

During Crisis government makes better policies (64th Dairy Pulse 16th to 30th June, 2018)


Dear friends,

At the outset I would like to thank you all for reading this blog with patience and correcting us wherever we commit some mistakes. In one of our blogs a few weeks back we mentioned about the huge pile of SMP to the tune of 200000 MT and we mentioned it to be as 12 % of total milk production. Actually it was around 2% of total milk production and we acknowledge the mistake. Pl do write back to us for any thing which needs our attention.
Last fortnight we saw government taking a few good decisions related to offering export subsidies so as to relieve cooperatives disposing off huge piles of powder stock. Thsi would help them , making rooms for forthcoming milk floods, post monsoon from the farmers. There have been suggestions by some other dairy expert on certain social media forums, that let government offer these huge piles of smp as donation or gift to other under developed nations which demand it.
Let us examine on how apt and sustainable such strategies are from the perspective of sustainability of dairy farming business in the country. May be for current situation it might be considered as a temporarily relief to the sector. 

I believe that use of Iodex or any other such pain reliever is good enough for sprains but not for fractures.
Current pathetic situation of dairy farmers has not evolved over night. This crisis is an outcome of a series of neglect which the policy makers are keeping their eyes closed on for a long period now. 

Let us look at all the game changing moves by the government starting from importing different varieties of wheat seeds from Mexico in late sixties , decision to import SMP/Butteroil to make Operation flood happen and in this millennium to try out Genetically modified crop for cotton ( BT cotton). All these moves were too painful and faced a lot of objections and debates but later changed the horizon of Indian agriculture. The first move made India self sufficient in around 5-7 years time, the second move made India largest producer of milk in around 4 decades and the last move made India almost second largest producer as well as exporter of cotton in two decades.

During crisis the government makes better policies. 
(I have borrowed these thoughts from Dr Ashok Gulati a noted agriculture expert from IFPRI.)

So last week I thought that why not to enroll farmers to start thinking about what is best for them and let them prepare a draft agenda to be submitted to the government for designing a better policy. A few of the points in the agenda may be as weird as getting BT cotton to India but let it be. Atleast we must stop watering the stem (by providing subsidies or support for short term gains to the processors) and not to the roots(dairy farmers) of the plant (dairy farming in this case).

If you get some time then watch this video which I have shared with a subscribed group of around 30000+ dairy farmers and dairy entrepreneurs  across the nation. However I am listing the same points below also for your kind perusal and further suggestions.


The key policy changes which might support farmers in long run may be as follows :

a. Change in milk pricing structure in the country. Currently it is fat based. This way Cow milk producer is at a loss at most part of the country. The other problem with this structure is that high perceptual cost of ghee makes it easier for a large number of market players to produce adulterated ghee by mixing it with edible oils or to charge very high rates for cow based ghee. If cow based ghee fetches higher prices then why cow milk does not fetch that premium by default ( barring those few players who without even having farms are selling cow milk at Rs 100 + per lietr and cow ghee @ Rs 2000+ per kgs).

b. Introduction of Minimum support price for milk on seasonal basis ( we have raised this issue at least 3 times in last two years). I am surprised to see that government has enacted a daily basis formula for diesel and petrol wherein the beneficiaries are public sector, government (revenue deptt) and large oil companies. It is being done so that not even a single paisa loss is incurred to all these three stakeholders. However when it comes to the farmers no such formula is there to protect them (even atleast 2-3 times an year) when the season changes and under market dynamics of highly fluctuating (normally upwards only) input costs. As a rule of thumb the farmer must be able to purchase atleast 2 kgs of balanced ration cattle feed out of selling 1 kg of milk to make some profits ( at 1.5 Kgs formula he will be breaking even only in most of the cases). This way if the cost of balanced cattle feed is Rs 18/kg for a cow and Rs 22/kg for buffalo then the msp for milk must be Rs 36.kg and Rs 44 per kg for cow and buffalo milk respectively. The economists may be used to evaluate regional costs of production of balanced feed so as to avoid any mistake.

c. Based on land holding or number of animals holding the farmers may be given some kind of compensation for the period of crisis as is done in the case of natural calamities like drought and floods. A suitable group may be used to apply acturials to find such compensatory packages.

d. On the lines of FCI(food corporation of India) we may have another FCI which is Fodder corporation of India. This institution may be used to collect and store hay blocks and silage from around the country. This corporation will help in taking care of all the gaps arising out of our agri diversity and thus would provide silage and feed ( inputs ) to the dairy farmer at a reasonable cost or by using Kissan credit cards. This will help them to atleast sustain their animals at low cost and thus would sustain even at low prices.

e. There could be a system aligning the farmers and processors and giving an opportunity to the farmers to become part of the real value chain of the dairysector. In case of access milk the farmers may provide milk free of cost to the processors and the processors in turn would convert that milk into value added products like SMP, cheese, UHT milk etc. These processors would act as a bank to the farmers and the farmers may be able to insure their produce for a future date gain. The government may act as a guarantor to the system and would ensure a minimum assured price to the farmers at a future date. This way farmers will get a good price for their routine production and invest their surplus milk like SIP in commodities . The processor would also be able to run his plant at full capacity without any liability to make immediate payments to the farmers in case of a glut. The government would act as a moderator and ensure true governance so that interest of everyone remain intact.


These are just couple of thoughts..howsoever weird they are but we will have to think , deliberate, share and make it reach to the policy makers.
Please share your thoughts which we would love to collate and make a list of suggestions for the government to implement. We shall be collecting the suggestions from the farmers also which I would be sharing with you all in some forthcoming issue.
In last edition  we promised you that in this edition we shall be sharing details on how an upsurge in analogue dairy product segment will be  ruining the opportunities of dairy farmers to sell more milk in the country. However we have postponed that to next edition and focussed more farmer's centric discussion this time.



Happy e learning.

with best regards


Kuldeep Sharma
Chief Thinking Officer
Suruchi Consultants (ISO 9001:2008 Company)
C-49 Sector-65
Noida 201307
thinkdairy@gmail.com

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Shall we produce more milk or find ways to increase avenues for more consumption (63rd Dairy Pulse 1st to 15th June, 2018)


Dear friends,

At the outset I apologise for kept you waiting for this newsletter a bit longer this time.

Last fortnight was full of news focussed on either slash in milk prices or finding ways to export the huge piles of Milk powder. On one side the Hon minister praising farmers to increase milk production while on the other the same farmer not getting even his cost price for the produced milk.

I found an  interesting correlation  in the state of Maharashtra . There has been good growth in milk production in this state but when it comes to getting good price then the farmer from this state  is getting the least price .A lot of resentment was being shown by the farmers through demonstrations and in a few cases with some positive steps like forming an FPO and trying to sell to modern trade and Horeca directly.

Maharashtra is a state with majority of milk being collected by the private sector (may be more than 80 %). A few questions arise out of this situation as follows :

Is weak state federation is the reason for this debacle ? 
Is it really necessary for every state to have a strong state federation to support farmers with a better price ? 
Is it because that the state federation are in better position to get subsidized by the government than the private sector ?
Are farmers considered a responsibility of public cooperative system only ?
Does government have any mandate to be inclusive towards private sector dairies also who are trying hard to support farmers as well as feed consumer without any federal support ?
And the bigger question resurface again on whether it is possible to divert huge funds from world bank or JICA for national dairyplan as well as dairy development in India to all stakeholders appropriately so as to sustain dairy industry structure in the country.

It is high time for industry to think on the milk pricing for dairy farmers as well as concept of milk shed areas which was prevailing before dairy got delicensed in 1992. 

Next three years are very important for Indian dairy industry and it might lead to a do or die situation for farmers. The farmers have already been facing the brunt since last two years and if something is not done appropriately with sustainable options then he might divert his activities to something else. A couple of options to review milk pricing system might be as follows :

a. Subsidizing the produce and not the producer or processor
b. Defined milk sheds with a charter of responsibility for the patron to take care of whole eco system including the dairy farmers and animals.
c. Policies to help farmer decrease their cost of production through capacity building and hand holding.
d. Making it mandatory for all Modern trade to keep fresh produce at a reasonably low margins and particularly for the one with FDI.
e. Finding more consumption opportunities for milk and milk products in various schemes like mid day meal, school milk program, women health programs, child and mother welfare programs, export subsidies ( thereby generating forex also)
f. A strong regulatory measure by defining analog and filled products in dairy segments by FSSAI so as to stop these products to eat away market share of dairy products as well as improve milk utilization of dairy farmers.
g. District center of excellence with community processing for farmers to get their produce converted into SMP,khoa, etc so as to handle their surplus better.
h. Charting out a model similar to msp but with a review mechanism for atleast 3-4 times in an year depending upon feed prices.
i. Extending credit to dairy farmers for purchasing and storing hay and silage through district based centers of producing the same.
j. Extending special subsidy for setting up cold chain and mini feed manufacturing unit with mineral mixtures. Existing Sampada scheme is too cumbersome and may not give benefit to all.
k. Lowering/abolishing gst on value added, nutritious milk products.

There may be so many more areas wherein interventions could be thought of to improve milk consumption as well and making dairy farmers as well as processors motivated enough to be in business.

I shall be deliberating on these issues one by one in my forthcoming issues starting with "The menace of analog dairy products and its impact of sustainability of dairy farming " in next issue.

Happy e learning

with best regards



Kuldeep Sharma
Chief Thinking Officer
Suruchi Consultants (ISO 9001:2008 Company)
C-49 Sector-65
Noida 201307
thinkdairy@gmail.com