Ranchi, Sept. 21: A dairy that produces one lakh litre of milk a day will be like drop in the ocean for Jharkhand that faces a daily shortage of eight lakh litres. But, it is a good beginning to tackle the state’s perennial milk crisis.
The animal husbandry department has prepared a blueprint for setting up a one lakh litre-day dairy processing plant at Hotwar in Ranchi under Jharkhand Dairy Project with an estimated cost of Rs 18 crore.
Governor K. Sankaranarayanan will lay the foundation of the project on October 2 when an exhibition-cum-cattle induction programme will also be held for dairy farmers.
Aimed at benefiting 40,000 dairy farmers and improving their economic status, the project will be executed by the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) and is to be completed in two years.
It will be known as Jharkhand Dairy Project and its products will be marketed under the brand name of Medha.
Though the plant of 1 lakh litres will not be adequate for Ranchi, it will only partially bridge the demand-supply gap — the capital needs 3 lakh litres of milk everyday.
The department had signed an MoU with NDDB last year for establishing dairies in Ranchi and Deoghar, besides upgrading the capacity of existing dairies at an estimated cost of Rs 48 crore.
The board will be involved in setting up milk producing institutions to enhance capacity over five years. It will also assist in developing efficient milk collection, processing and distribution networks.
“Though NDDB signed the MoU a year back, it began the ground work last month when it took over the existing Ranchi dairy at Ormanjhi on August 1. It has increased its capacity from 1,500 litres to 3,000 litres a day within a month of its operation,” animal husbandry department secretary A.P. Singh told The Telegraph.
The Deoghar plant, to be installed soon, will process 10,000 litres milk everyday.
“Jharkhand is facing a shortage of over 8 lakh litres everyday. Against the requirement of over 23 lakh litres, around 14 lakh litres of milk are available everyday from dairy farmers in both organised and unorganised sectors – including Bihar,” Singh added.
According to sources, there are 848 primary dairy co-operative societies with a membership of 51,276, and 12 district co-operative milk unions have been organised so far on the Amul pattern.
With a view to selling milk produced through these co-operatives, 13 milk chilling centres have been installed so far with a total handling capacity of 46,000 litres per day, against the present figure of 3,000. But, non-availability of sufficient milk is hampering their performance.