Rajarambapu Dairy Federation sparks white revolution..
Dairy business is considered to be complimentary to farming. Recently, it has become the main occupation of some families. Management and care of animals like feeding, watering, tending them usually falls more on shoulders of women members of family. Many households meet their day to day expenses with earnings from sale of milk. Hence the importance of dairy business has increased.
Keeping in tune with time, Rajarambapu who was a visionary leader set up milk federation 40 years ago. Thereafter, Jayant Patil took over and started managing the affairs of Rajarambapu Dairy Federation successfully. He modernised the dairy business. Since the farmers can not afford to keep cows and buffaloes which yield just one or two litres of milk, the dairy federation supplied high quality milch animals. This is a long term process. Hybrid animals are produced through artificial insemination. The calves are carefully tended to and brought up in a healthy environment. Their entries are recorded on computer and for that an updated work system has been developed by the federation. While opting for high yield milk giving buffalos and cows, the native variety must not be neglected and hence the federation has launched a ‘Redi-Padi Sangopan Yojna’ under which the native milch animals are looked after.
The farmers are given subsidy for keeping such animals. Meticulous entries about them are made and the growth in their population is monitored. Similarly, the federation has undertaken the programme to enhance the milk production and accordingly, a pilot project has been set up at Kalamwadi. At this plant, works like increasing the milk yield per animal, reducing the dry period, scientific conservation, producing pure milk among others are undertaken in a scientific manner. Now the farmers are going to get information regarding their milch animals on their mobile phones. Awareness camps and conferences are regularly held for the benefit of milk producers. They are told about the importance of cleanliness and practice the same in their milk business. With a view to promote the milk production, the federation is producing high quality cattlefeed called ‘Krishna cattlefeed’ at Islampur and Kupwad. The cattlefeed is supplied to the farmers at a lower price than market rate. Both the plants produce 95 tons of cattlefeed a day. This cattlefeed packed with all essential nutrients is ideal for healthy growth of animals and increases milk yield of the milch animals consuming it. This cattlefeed has great demand from Sangli and other districts besides from other states. Likewise, a fodder development progarmme is being implemented for supplying nutritious fodder.
Farmers are being provided with fodder seeds to produce high quality, green and wet fodder. ‘Murghas’ projects are being handed over to the farmers and these efforts have yielded the results by increasing the milk production from animals. Farmers are also being provided veterinary service to ensure the health of animals. Realising the significance of the dictum, “The more milk, the more money”, the farmers are doing this business seriously and earning decent amount of money. With a view to promote the quality of milk and to incentivize the farmers, competitions are held for milch animals. The milch animals yielding more milk, high quality milk are given prizes. Similarly, selection of ideal milk society is done and it is presented with ‘Rajarambapu trophy’. Farmers are paid according to the quality of milk and it benefits the federation too. Since women shoulder greater responsibility of dairy business, emphasis is put on training them. Dairy day is celebrated on the birthday of Jayant Patil on February 16.
A gathering of milk producer women is held. Experts give them guidance at this gathering. Similarly, some towns have all women dairy societies which are wholly managed by women. At present open cow shed method has proved to be beneficial which keeps the health of animals in good condition and leads to an increase in milk yield. Hence open cowshed method is being promoted by the federation. This scheme has received an overwhelming response from the milk producers.
There are 62 open cowsheds in existence within the jurisdiction of the federation. Many improvements have been effected at the level of the federation. Latest technology has been introduced. Competition among private societies has increased for collection of milk. Some societies collect any quality of milk. It affects those who are fastidious about quality. Therefore the need has arisen for carrying out dairy business in a positive and scientific way. The federation has launched an awareness campaign about milk production and quality. Now it has been made binding on the milk societies to accept only quality, unadulterated milk. The milk collection societies accepting low quality, adulterated milk are liable for action.
The federation is constantly reminding the milk producers of this fact. The federation has supplied milk societies with ‘Eco milk’ machines to detect adulteration in milk so that such milk is rejected before purchase. The societies are given a subsidy up to 50 percent for the purchase of this machine. So far, 54 such machines have been provided and hence it can be seen that the federation’s concern for quality begins right from the purchase of milk. The collected milk is processed through machines and without that the standard and quality of milk does not improve. Jayant Patil himself insists on the quality and he has emphasized on the modern mechanization of the plants of the federation. There is constant gap between the supply and demand for milk. We are still not able to fulfill the requirement for milk. Maharashtra, particularly Mumbai still depends on the milk supplied by Gujarat. On the other hand, there is an intense completion between the cooperative societies and private societies. Many private companies have entered this business and their emphasis is on increasing milk collection. Many have got their own marketing arrangement. Their management is professional and their competition proves detrimental to the cooperatives. But this should not make one fearful.
Rajarambapur Dairy Federation has been standing tall while giving a tough competition to the private players. Unless by-products are made, this business will not be profitable. Therefore, the federation produces curd, flavored milk, basundi, pedhe and other dairy products which are marketed under ‘Krishna’brand. On the strength of modernization, quality, high grade by-products, effective marketing, ‘Krishna brand’ has created an independent identity for itself. Considering the huge market in Mumbai, a branch has been started at Vashi. Besides, a packing station has also been set up in Pune. Hence the consumers in Pune, Mumbai are getting high quality milk and diary products. The federation has put in an independent mechanism to constantly monitor the quality of its products. And accordingly, quality assurance programme is being implemented. At present, Krishna milk and other products are being marketed all over Maharashtra and the products are available in all major cities and hence the demand is increasing.
Jayant Patil is constantly guiding the federation for improving the quality of milk, producing high grade by-products, effectively marketing the products, introducing more and more professionalism in the dairy business so that the federation runs in profit. Office-bearers and employees are committed to put the federation on path of progress and expand its operations. National Agriculture Development Scheme has approved the proposal of the federation for Rs 6 crore. This fund will be used to set up condensed milk plant. This project will add glory to the federation and it would materialize soon. Those who are obsessed with growing business make progress and earn profits. The federation has created an independent identity for itself in the dairy business in the state.