The National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) has taken over the management of Assam's own AMUL

The industrialisation of livestock production has reached most countries in the world. Three quarters of the world

In a clear case of discrimination, the Ludhiana administration has taken action against dairy farmers for polluting Budda Nullah but spared the industry, which is the major contributor towards the wat

Subodh Kant Sahai is a man known to have donned different hats. In charge of the ministry for food processing industries, he believes that the industry's growth is remarkable and real. In conversation with Justin Thomas, he speaks about how the sector would be a focus and the effects it will cast on rural India.

What are the major infrastructure initiatives of your ministry?

The City Beautiful will soon get a "milk village' to accommodate more than 27,000 cattle heads. The project will have three phases: in Maloya, Khuda Lahora and Makhanmajra villages.

With the domestic dairy sector slated to cross Rs 500,000 crore in revenues by 2011, milk seems to have found favour with FMCG majors.

They are the black beauties of north Gujarat showing off their stout, well-groomed bodies to the buyers from down south. The Mehsanvi buffalo, which has been the mainstay of dairies of this region, is now being looked upon to resuscitate the crisis-ridden farmers of Andhra Pradesh (AP) among whom many have committed suicide. Under the schemes floated by the Centre and the AP government for these farmers, several government veterinary doctors accompanied by farmers, have come to this village to buy the Mehsanvi buffalo. Each of these buffaloes yield 12 litres of milk in a day. In the last two months alone, an estimated 1,500 Mehsanvi buffaloes have been sent to various villages in AP. There are two schemes for farmers in AP: one is the state government scheme for those families which are below the poverty line, the other is the prime minister's package for the families of farmers who committed suicide. "Under the PM's package, each affected family will be given two buffaloes. As part of this scheme, I am here with farmers to buy Mehsanvi buffaloes,'' says Dr I Balasundaram, a veterinary surgeon from Medak district of AP, adding that they also intend to develop a strong dairy industry. "This is the best business for rural folk because losses are minimised and over the years, it only grows,' says Balasundaram. Under these schemes, farmers are given buffaloes at 50 per cent subsidy and the rest on loan. Each buffalo costs Rs 30,000. Says Arvind Chaudhary, who mediates these deals and is also providing buffaloes to states other than AP, "On an average, a buffalo gives six litres of milk in the morning as well as in the evening.' Chairman of the Dudhsagar Dairy (Mehsana) Vipul Chaudhary says, "The best quality Mehsanvi buffalo is the one that gives a sustained income to the family and it does not demand much maintenance, which makes it popular.' Maleka Sankar Rao, farmer from Adilabad district, AP, feels that the state needs a strong dairy industry like Gujarat which can bail it out in the event of an agrarian crisis. Mehsanvi buffaloes find their way to crisis-ridden farmers in Andhra Pradesh.

The bulk milk-cooler units that have been established in the district with the aim of ensuring the quality of milk will be inaugurated by Kerala Minister for Food and Civil Supplies C. Divakaran at the Kozhipalli Milk Producers' Cooperative Society on Friday. The units have been installed under the Clean Milk Production Programme of the Union government, said T.P. Marcose, chairman of the Ernakulam Regional Cooperative Milk Producers' Union, while addressing mediapersons at the Ernakulam Press Club on Thursday. "The Centre had sanctioned Rs. 2.2 crore to the district for the scheme. Under this, freshly-taken milk will be stored in the coolers that have been installed at different cooperative societies, thus ensuring the purity of milk. Seventy per cent of the milk produced in Ernakulam will be stored in these coolers that have generator back-up. Societies will also be given computers and electronic-weighing machines. Milma will bear the cost of maintaining the coolers.' The function will also see the inauguration of the marketing of a cost-effective milking machine developed by a society member.

If you thought a large glass of milk a day is essential for good health and strong bones, you could be mistaken. In a 20-page report released Thursday, the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), stated that the unhygienic conditions of major dairies across India, may in fact make milk consumption hazardous to humans. The report

There is a total slump in farming activity due to multifarious other factors viz. deficiency of farm labour, vagaries of weather, cost effect etc- RK Kutty