In a bid to support the modernisation of the dairy sector in the country, the Centre has set up a Dairy Processing and Infrastructure Development Fund (DIDF) at the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard), with a corpus of Rs 80.04 billion.
According to Nabard, the fund is expected to achieve an investment of Rs 100 billion in the dairy sector by 2019-20.
The first installment of Rs 4.4 billion was disbursed to the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) by union minister of agriculture and farmers welfare, Radha Mohan Singh.
The fund would be distributed to six different projects, namely, including Dakshina Kannada Milk Union (Udupi), Kolar-Chikhballarpur Milk Union (Kolar), Mysore Milk Union (Mysore), Karnataka Milk Federation (Ramnagar), Karnataka Milk Union (Channarayapatna) and Ropar Milk Union (Ropar).
So far, Nabard has sanctioned Rs 8.44 billion under DIDF for 15 projects with an investment of Rs 11.48 billion in Karnataka, Punjab and Haryana. It estimates sanctions to touch Rs 38 billion by end of the current financial year.
The setting up of the fund comes at a time when the vision 2022 document pegs India's estimated milk production to touch 254.5 million tonnes, up almost 45 per cent from the current 176.35 million tonnes. Nabard anticipates the funds to be accessed by viable milk unions and dairy federations through NDDB and National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC).
DIDF is also aimed at bringing more dairy farmers into organised milk marketing through better price realisation, with milk processing capacity of cooperatives set to increase by 32 million litres per day and bulk milk chilling capacity by 14 million litres per day. The fund is expected to help create 40,000 direct employment and over 200,000 indirect employment in dairy marketing, distribution and retail chains.
As per an official communique by Nabard, Mohan said that India's per capita milk availability has gone substantially up to 377 gram per day, even as more value addition in the dairy sector could alone ensure more income to dairy farmers.
Meanwhile, quoting the latest Nabard All India Rural Financial Inclusion Survey (NAFIS), Harsh Kumar Bhanwala, Chairman, Nabard said that 51 per cent of agricultural households own milch animals. "Milk production has been growing around 6.5 per cent each year and we need to create the infrastructure to handle the production and process the same," Bhanwala said.