Saturday, December 16, 2017

27 Dairy Pulse Dec (1-15)

Dear friends,

In last fortnight Indian dairy industry lost two of its very senior veterans . Mr S.K Dua ( NDRI 1963 batch) who served GSK for a long time at Nabha and Dr NR Bhasin who not only served Indian Dairy Association as President for last few terms but also acted as a true Dairy bureaucrat while serving RCDF. On behalf of team dairy pulse and dairy fraternity we pray for their soul to rest in peace.

The traction of demonetisation touched all spheres of life and as the days are passing by the unpreparedness of the system to handle the situation is getting unleashed. Indian dairy sector is probably at the highest level of financial inclusion when it comes to formal banking. Most of the cooperative organized sector are   making payments directly to the farmer's bank account. In current circumstances due to temporary restrictions on high value transaction of cash and transfers Kolhapur Union and a few others felt the problems of farmers not getting payments from their bank accounts or payment just not reaching their account at all. Though all of us are hoping that happy days are just two weeks away but still prolonging this status quo may get fatal for poor farmers and their families. I believe that the top dairy players must be in touch with appropriate authorities to find solution. Over here I feel the need of a central bank for taking care of agriculture banking and funding on the lines of Reserve bank of India. As Agriculture is a tax free activity so a separate institution to take care of their banking and investment needs may be more pervasive  and create a focussed inclusive finance solution to Indian farmers for their agricultural and livelihood related requirements. Current mainstream solutions have limitations of getting de-focussed and manipulative at times .If required the role of NABARD may be expanded to serve as a true Indian farmer's bank .

There is a good news for dairy entrepreneurs as Mudra loan facility is now extended to dairy sector also. This way the small entrepreneur could venture into dairy set up for primary production, cold chain or milk processing . It is a good move and will have long term consequence. There need to be a clearly defined space for dairy activities in Make in India and Start up India for bigger projects. As on date only food processing has been mentioned but authorities at times do not consider dairy processing under food processing. Indeed in one of the interesting case a few years back  we had to prove to sales tax authorities that milk is food to get certain exemption from the authorities. Unfortunately we could not prove it for a long time  because of lack of support from  Institutions and other departments.

FSSAI once again is in news for taking labeling on packed foods in India to next level . As per Sh Pawan Agarwal , CEO FSSAI "Our labelling provisions are currently under revision. We are looking at Codex norms. We are going beyond that to see our labelling norms are robust,"

Now we are heading for the end of the year. We shall be sharing  an annual soummary of dairy news with our next edition of dairy pulse which you would be receiving in 2017 now. Till then season's greeting and accept our sincere gratitude for  your  support and advise to make Dairy Pulse part of your fortnightly habit.

Happy e reading.

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

It has never been so serious before : Milk Strike (51st Dairy Pulse, 1 to 15 Dec, 2017)

Dear Friends,

Last fortnight ended up on an acrid note with numerous farmers unions in North India in UP region went on a day's long milk strike and also threatened those involved in sales and transportation of milk , on December 15th.Though no untoward incident was heard but the message got clear.

The farmers in other parts of the country are likely to follow the suit and may be soon we might see a nationwide strike by dairy farmers. On one hand it might bring a lot of loss to these farmers as well as national loss in terms of product loss while on the other hand , the plant owners as well as consumers might face some short supplies in this so called flush season.

Now who is to be blamed ? Farmers, processors, intermediaries , global trends or government. I do not have answer but let us look at everyone's perspective.

Farmers : They do not have a say in deciding price of milk rather they hardly know their cost of production  in most of the cases.

Processors : They normally follow demand  supply model to fix the price of milk and keep on reducing the price so as to discourage farmers to give milk to them in case of over supplies ( barring a few cooperatives and large dairies).

Intermediaries : They somehow have certain vested interests and they make best use of such circumstances by exploiting the milk eco system both ways.

Global trends : The trends are still not very positive for skimmed milk powder as well as farm gate price of milk. Butter and AMF may be a sigh of relief for Indian exporters currently but the trend still needs to be watched on year end and early next year.

Government : Since 1991 when dairy got delicensed , the government has slowly and steadily kept it self at bay when it comes to milk pricing , milk sheds and purchase price of milk from the farmers. Rather government has tried to create a lot of exit barriers right from the farmers to other stakeholders  over a period of time in different forms.

Since 1991, no policy has been drafted to define ownership of any given milk shed both in terms of quantity of milk to be collected and traded and prices at which it makes sense for farmers to be in this trade.

Milk has been  the top agri commodity in the country. Cereals and grains have been following it since last few years in terms of value. Milk is also the fastest cash flow generating livelihood activity for dairy farmers and especially women farmers. Still nothing much has been done in terms of developing cold chain and storage infrastructure and supply chain mechanism near to to farmers doorstep on the lines of FCI. Neither any initiative on fixing MSP of milk has been thought of nor any mechanism for milk price fixation for consumers .

Farmer's agitation is valid as they see the processors buying milk at as low as 28-30 per liter for buffalo milk without any change at the consumer level at Rs 52. What at the most has been offered by government is simply subsidy on milk purchase and subsidizing ailing cooperative structure in different states . Which may be  good but not sufficient for sure.
I think its high time for all stakeholders to think out of the box and look out for sustainable solution to such perennial problem of milk pricing during flush and lean.

First National Level Resource Person workshop was organized at FSSAI headquarters New Delhi on Dec 13 to kick off the nationwide drive to conduct  Food safety supervisor training program . This program will be carried out under the FoSTaC ( Food Safety Training and Certification) initiative of FSSAI. The meeting was represented by key stakeholders like Amul, Mother Dairy, NDDB, Verka, Nestle, ITC, Paras, Ananda etc along with Team FSSAI. 

So now with the last fortnight of the year progressing, I promise to meet you in next year with good wishes and some other interesting news and views.  

Happy e reading

with best regards

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

Friday, December 1, 2017

Farmer is free to decide fate of his animals (50th Dairy Pulse, 16 to 30 Nov, 2017)

Dear friends,

Firstly I would like to thank all of you along with the complete dairy fraternity while presenting this 50th edition of Dairy Pulse (a fortnightly news letter on Indian and foreign dairy news). We respect your commitment to the industry and therefore we collate all these information so that you could review it once every fortnight in one go. I really can not believe that almost two years have passed since we began this journey. Next year we have plans to not only give this newsletter a new shape but to begin a separate newsletter with a focus on Dairy start ups, their success stories and investments in dairysector. I am sure that we will keep on receiving patronage from all of you for the same.

Finally the government rolled back its decision on stopping sale of animals for slaughtering purpose. This policy since beginning got a lots of criticism and resistance from almost all stakeholders from the dairy industry. Now the farmer is free to decide fate of his animals and carry out his dairy business in a more scientifically managed manner. I am happy that during last few months at least the think tank and other farmer groups discussed this issue openly which was being lying under the carpet for so many years. I find it to be good move by the policy maker for creating an opportunity for constructive criticism and the way forward. I also think that now this policy would be redesigned to suit the industry and farmers alike.

On 28th and 29th November IFCN organized its 4th regional conference at Chennai and was attended by dairy stalwarts from government, Amul, Aavin, Lactalis, Tirumala, Jersey, ABT foods, Kemin, Tetrapack, Promethane , Rabo Bank to name a few. 

This year the workshop was focussed on family dairy farms ( from 10-50) and emphasis was given to identifying the focus areas and challenges so as to make them sustainable to begin with.

The key findings of the conference will be shared with you along with our next newsletter but the key questions being discussed in the workshop remains as follows :

a. How to define a sustainable family dairy farms in India-what criteria need to be covered ?
b. How to improve farm management skills in India and waht need to be done for substantial improvements.
c. How to have better milking animals and how to improve their availability ?
d. What could be possible solutions for unproductive animals in 2020 besides Gaushalas?
e. What could be done better for mobilizing finances for Family dairy farms?
f. How would a sustainable family dairy farm model look like in 2020 in progressive states (e.g Number of cows, yield, land, feed, technology, etc)
g. How to attract youth of India to be enrolled for family dairy farm business in India ?
h. How to ensure Animal feed/water availability through out the year as per requirements in family dairy farms considering vast diversity in agro climatic conditions of India ?

A whole day was spent finding the answers but that is not sufficient. There is a great requirements of inventorizing the best practices and Indigeneous technical knowledge(ITK as used in agriculture) of dairy farmers and developing strategies at Block level if not village level. Looking at the size of the country even state level single policy may not do well. However what we have been facing is problem of National Policy for almost all issues in the country.

Slowly and steadily we will have to listen to the farmers and create solutions at micro level if we really wish to double their income by 2022.

To me a farmer's sustainability is nothing but a nation's sustainability in miniature. 

Happy e reading.

with warm regards

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

Thursday, November 16, 2017

What is the relationship between export subsidy on SMP and consumer price of market milk ? (49th DP, 1 to 15 Nov, 2017)

Dear Friends,

Last fortnight I happen to travel in around 4-5 states and got an opportunity to talk with dairy farmers and dairy consumers. The state of farmers is not good at most of the places as there has been a drop in milk prices as well as quota fixing of milk procurement quantities at VLC by the dairy companies. On one side the input cost is increasing along with production of milk at farmer level (due to seasonality) while on other hand he has been asked to pour less milk at lower prices.

I tried to probe more and found that due to fall in Skimmed milk powder prices in local market along with its demand after festival season, large dairies are in a state of dilemma to produce SMP in large quantities or more. If they have to make SMP for next season then they are trying to wriggle maximum out of farmer's pocket so as to hedge their risks     ( Greed is good).

Butter and ghee are getting good prices in exports so their is an upsurge in exports of these products from India. Amidst all these market dynamics , I started to think about poor consumers who is supporting industry by consuming the products at any price offered to her. I belong to a generation which has seen strikes due to increase in milk prices by certain paisa only in Delhi. Now a days dairies are increasing their milk prices in multiple of two rupees at a time. 

We also saw reduction in milk prices for consumers in winter but since last few years we have seen increase in milk price even as a new year gift in North India. 

In Maharashtra farmer groups are agitating and asking for export subsidy on Skimmed milk powder as the prices have dropped down below Rs 20 also in certain areas which I mentioned in my last to last edition of Dairy Pulse. Maharashtra is amongst top 10 milk producing state and interestingly private sector procures over 70 % of total milk produced as against cooperative sector. 

Suppose government agrees to their demand and offer export subsidy. This will lead to better prices for farmers and diversion of milk for making skimmed milk powder. Butter and ghee is already getting good price. This will lead to a situation where dairy companies would be unable to meet the requirements of market milk selling so it would end up in increase in milk prices for consumers in winters.

Can we have a consumer price regulated in the way Petrol/Diesel by linking it to the raw milk procurement price ? I would like this august group to think over it. As a consumer I consider it to be my right to get a price reduction of at least 50 % of the price being reduced at the farmer level. 

You all must also block your diary from Feb 8 to 10th for attending 46th Dairy conference at Kochi to be organized by IDA ( south zone) and anchored by IDA Kerala chapter.

Happy elearning

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

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Indian Dairy Map 2017 : Empathy with Indian farmer (48th DP, 16 to 31 Oct, 2017)

Dear friends,

Last fortnight kept us very busy and joyful while celebrating Diwali on one end and meeting farmers groups of Maharashtra on the other.

Indian Dairy Map 2017 was launched on 27th October at a day long conference in Pune on Roadmap for Indian Dairy industry. This Map is a part of our commitment to offer a research based publication  to Indian dairy industry since 2011.

Our research gave some interesting insights on the trends being followed up in Indian Dairy Industry in top 10 states. We were also able to gauge the farmer's intent towards pasture development, selection of type of animals and awareness levels on yield improvement.

A nationwide distribution on animals, milk production, animal productivity and milk availability were the key highlights of the research.

Our team is working to develop and share a detailed report state wise on how the dynamics of dairy development are moving but in nutshell the following key insights got surfaced up with the research.

a. Higher cattle population of a particular type of animal does not ensure high productivity or improvement of yield in that category.

b. Farmer's interest and awareness ( may be linked with market dynamics) is a better catalyst in any state for performing on animal productivity than government's policies and push.

c. There has been a shift and liking of farmers towards cross bred exotic animals and buffaloes across the country in most of the states. It is also being seen in the states which are perceptually assumed to be the patrons of desi cows. 

As a conclusion I feel the think tank at government's level must take a holistic view of all these factors and give their ears to farmers before planning and devising schemes skewed towards a particular type of animal.

Good news is that Government has undertaken a mammoth task of providing animal identification chip to around 80 % of the total miking animal population in one year only. It would change the dairy landscape completely and may be in our next year research based document the available data would be more realtime and accurate.

I am also anticipating that while doing this exercise government departments  might experience change in existing data drastically in any direction for number of animals in milk, productivity and their types.

Please send a request with your complete address for getting a copy of the map. You may use it as co-branding with us also and print on annual calendar also. We will provide you the designing support for co branding. We would like to see this map at each and every dairy establishment in the country. This map is available free of cost to every one.

Happy e learning.

with best regards

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

Monday, October 16, 2017

Happy Diwali : Is keeping desi cow sufficient to be prosperous ? (47th DP, 1 to 15 Oct,2017)

Dear friends,

Firstly accept warm wishes for a happy and prosperous diwali to you and your near and dear ones from Team Dairy Pulse.

Since last diwali we have been watching a strange kind of competition going on amongst few of the states in the country to promote desi cow farming in the country. Each state government is trying to enchant farmers with some schemes or the other , provided the farmers rear desi cows. It all started with Rajasthan, Karnataka, Haryana and now Gujarat and U.P. Looking at their efforts I have started to think whether keeping and rearing desi cow is sufficient to be prosperous at farmer level. 

Could our poor  small and marginal farmers who are struggling for sustenance at all levels be able to carry the extra burden of keeping a low yielding , poor genetics animal at their homes. The situation becomes more grim with majority of the states growing less than the required dry matter as animal fodder per adult cattle e.g Rajasthan and Gujarat ( look at the news on Dry matter(feed) availability in India in this edition).

The market dynamics are also quiet diverse across the country as in last fortnight Mother Dairy increased their milk price by Rs 2 per liter and Mysore federation reduced procurement price by Rs 2.50 per liter. In Maharashtra where the Dry matter availability for animals is almost 50 % more than the required level of sustenance , the farmers are forced to sell their milk again at close to Rs 20 or may be less than Rs 20 per liter also at some places.

The state governments are just making schemes and subsidizing the beneficiary or the infrastructure. If Desi cows are to be retained then policy must  subsidize the sustenance ration which comes out to be not less than Rs 45 per animal per day (provided we feed only dry fodder or farm residue considered at Rs 6 per kg). This way we need close to Rs 405 Crores per day for around 90 million of cows which are dry and not in milk (buffaloes not being considered here but cross bred cows are considered). 

An annual amount of 27.0 Billion USD or Rs 150000 Crore is required if the government wishes that the farmers must keep the unproductive animals also with the productive one and with zero culling of animals for slaughtering.  

Cross bred animals which are registering growth in most of the states where they are nurtured have the capacity to sustain themselves provided government supports them for breed improvement and easy policies on imports of semen and embryos( we do not recommend import of animals for farming purposes).

Same is true for simple and hassle free imports of pure gir (desi cow) semen and bulls(for breeding purpose) from Brazil which could yield milk upto 5-6000 litres per animal per lactation.

All other freebies and financial help in terms of subsidizing the milk by Rs 2-5 per liter and then writing it as a chief minister scheme does not provide grace to the second highest federal position (at state level) in a democratic country like India.

On this diwali I pray that our policy maker must think seriously on how to make our farmers prosperous rather than how to protect a particular kind of cow.

We are organizing a conference as knowledge partner at Pune on November 27th. We shall be launching an Indian Dairy Map there on future road map. You all are invited to register and attend the same. This is a concurrent event with a 3 day Indian Dairy Expo from Oct 26th to 28th. A brochure is enclosed with this edition of Dairy Pulse.

Wishing you a great and safe diwali again.

Happy e reading.

with best regards 

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

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Finally a positive disruption to ensure safe milk (46th DP 16 to 30 sep, 2017)

Dear Friends,

Last fortnight all of us watched Ravana (an epitome of 10 evil tendencies) being put on fire once again. For all of us it is an annual ritual. Even after Killing him regularly for centuries , he rises above his own ashes every years like legendary bird Phoenix. I better thought to devote this edition of Dairy pulse on the never ending and ever rising Ravana of Indian dairy industry. The ten evil tendencies of Indian dairy industry which may be inhibiting all milk producers and processors (even with their best intentions) to provide safe milk to Indian consumers. These ten heads of Indian dairy Ravana could be listed as follows :

1. Greed
2. Poor Cold chain infrastructure
3. Low awareness of milk producer towards safe milk
4. Low integrity of intermediary players in the value chain
5. Inability of regulator to create enough of terror amongst these adulterators
6. Softer stance of Indian judiciary towards the culprits engaged in milk adulteration
7. Poor nationwide infrastructure to process 100 % of milk before it reaches consumers
8.Huge demand supply gaps due to seasons, festivals, marriages and urbanization ( leading to polarization of huge population around towns only)
9. Irresponsible Media which runs free of cost milk and milk products adulteration classes on their channels to earn petty TRPs.
10. Unavailability of low cost systems, devices to check and test milk adulteration at any point of milk value chain.

So on this Dussehra in 2017 atleast we were able to chop off this tenth head of of our Dairy Ravana.

The name of This Ram Baan is Ksheer tester.

I would like to put on record the efforts of all including the developers CSIR, FSSAI, Ministry of health, Ministry of animal husbandry and fisheries, Scientists, Institutes, Activists and all other stakeholders involved in developing this device and making it available at as low as Rs 5000.00.

I am considering it to be a real big disruptive technology which may change the face of Indian dairy industry at both domestic and International levels.

I thank the President of India to have launched this initiative. Now it is the duty of the government and relevant departments to provide all help to the developers for scaling it up and making it available at all nook and corners of the milk value chain. Let it be part of National Dairy Plan and let it be made mandatory at all village level milk collection center . The minimum expenditure for setting up a VLC with AMCU, balance, mixer, printer, DPU, invertor, Milk cans, solar system etc is not less than Rs 100000.00.

So just by spending 5% more we could get each and every sample checked at VLc thereby making around 35 % of the milk sold in the country tested for adulteration on first point itself. I also recommend that this device may be installed at the following location so that consumers and relevant stakeholders may get their milk tested freely (or at a nominal cost Rs 5 or Rs 10 per sample)) and easily thus nabbing the culprit without use of any government machinery.

a. At all Village Panchayats
b. At all the school and college laboratories
c. At all the big malls
d. At all the government hospitals/ clinics. private nursing homes
e. At all the railway stations and large state roadways bus stations
f. At all the residential societies/apartments
g. At all the community centers and Barat Ghars
h. At all the Agriculture Mandis
i. At all the large places of worship
j. At all the government Cooperative stores/super bazars
k. At the gates of all the government and private dairies so that people could come and get their milk tested at a nominal charge.
l. Mobile entrepreneurship model could be carried out with this on cycle and bikes.
.......and so on

If we wish to make Safe milk for every one in the country by 2020 or 2022 or 2025 ( whatever it may be), the first step needs to be taken up today.

I would like every one reading this dairy pulse to discuss it with their team members on how could we make use of this Ram Baan to quash atleast one of the head of Ravana from this year onwards to create a Swachh and Swasth Doodh Bharat .

Happy E learning

with best regards

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