Agriculture ministry lists steps to boost domestic milk distribution

Besides the efforts to spur domestic demand such as milk distribution programme in Karnataka, Bihar and Rajasthan through anganwadis, the agriculture ministry has created a corpus of Rs 300 crore has been created to provide working capital loan to state cooperative federations

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New Delhi: India occupies the top spot in milk production in the world and contributes 19 percent to world milk production. Milk production has grown by 23.69 percent during the years between 2014-18. However, there are instances where it has been found that the scarcity of milk due to loopholes in distribution system in many states has led to severe crisis.

As per Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, it has taken many steps to tackle the ongoing milk crisis in Maharashtra. It says that to raise the domestic demand, the Department of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare has been requesting various states since December 2017 to take necessary steps to encourage supply of milk and milk products through Mid-day meal scheme and anganwadi under ICDS scheme for nutritional supports to children.

In this regard, communications with Secretary, Women and Child Development, Secretary, School Education and Chairman Railway Board has also been done, it has said.

States like Karnataka, Bihar, Rajasthan etc. have started supply of milk/WMP/milk products to schools under ICDS programme and Rajasthan through Mid-day meal scheme, it informed. The ministry also pointed towards the increase in import duty of whey milk powder from 30 percent to 40 percent and notified by DGFT on March 27, 2018.

On the recommendation of the Department of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) decided to provide export incentive for milk powder and Casein etc. at 10 percent in its notification on July 13, 2018. This includes Nepal and Bhutan. Considering the present scenario, the Department has again requested to increase export incentive for milk and milk products and Casein from 10 to 20 percent for the benefit of farmers.

The ministry is also providing working capital fund under “Support to State Cooperative Dairy Federation” scheme. Under the scheme a corpus of Rs 300 crore in perpetuity with NDDB is to be kept and used for providing soft loans for working capital. Under the scheme soft loan with simple interest at rate of 5 percent is given to various cooperatives.