SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir Milk Producers Cooperative Limited (JKMPCL) is going to modernise its milk plant at Cheshmashahi here, leading to increase in capacity from 20 TLPD to 50 TLPD. The modernised plant is expected to get operational by next year.
The CEO of JKMPCL, Mayank Tiwari, told Kashmir Reader that the plant, once modernised, could facilitate a “significant growth” in collection of milk produced in the villages in Kashmir.
“It is a step towards strengthening the cooperative model at the village level,” Tiwari said.
“The upgrading will not only boost our market reach and profits but will also help us to reach places wherein the brokers still have an upper hand in procuring milk from villagers at throw away prices.”
The ministry of agriculture, Government of India, has approved the National Programme for Bovine Breeding and Dairy Development under which JKMPCL will receive financial assistance as grant-in-aid, Tiwari said.
He said the project includes complete revamping of plant machinery at the milk plant and expansion of capacity from 20 TLPD to 50 TLPD.
“JKMPCL will also be installing Automatic Milk Collection Systems at more than 100 Village Dairy Cooperative Societies across the valley,” he said.
He said one of the main concerns-adulteration-will also be taken care of by upgrading testing facilities at the village level, collection points, and at the plant.
The laboratory facilities at Srinagar plant, he said, would be upgraded with latest equipment to provide “instant, accurate results and adulteration analysis”.
“Testing of milk is a constant process as it also determines the price they have to pay to the producer,” he said.
The JKMPCL purchases milk from producers based mostly in villages and distributes it to consumers. Milk that does not qualify the basic standards is rejected, while more money is offered to the producer whose milk has better quality. The average price paid to farmers per kilogram of milk was Rs 23.64 during the last fiscal and Rs 21.17 in 2013-14 fiscal.
At its other plant at Satwari Jammu, JKMPCL, during the year 2014-15, procured 47.90 lakh kilograms of milk from producers and paid them Rs 1,124.95 lakh.
It registered a sale of 48.28 lakh litres of milk valued Rs 1,493.64 lakh along with 11,014.50 litres of ghee worth Rs 32.25 lakh.
It also sold 4.85 lakh kilograms of curd, valued Rs 270.74 lakh, and flavoured milk in non-returnable bottles valued at Rs 1.66 lakh.
Tiwari said high-quality milk can be paid up to Rs 32 a kilogram.
Meanwhile, the latest Auditors’ Report of JKMPCL has recorded a 40 per cent decrease in milk production in Srinagar post floods, which had resulted in a “huge” loss of cattle.
It said milk procurement in Kashmir province dropped sharply in the winter.
“This scarcity was, however, overcome by supplying milk from our Jammu unit. The winter is usually a lean period for milk production in the Valley, but floods played their role as we witnessed a significant drop,” Tiwari said.
During floods JKMPCL distributed 75,000 litres of pouch milk as relief in Srinagar city.
The Report has shown that JKMPCL’s has witnessed 12.1 per cent Compound Annual Growth Rate during the past 11 years.