The Federation is left with an extra 1.70 lakh litres of milk per day

Usually there are problems with shortages. But in the case of A.P. Dairy Development Cooperative Federation (APDDCF) the opposite is true. It is faced with the unique problem of glut of milk so much so that it doesn’t know where to store all the milk that is coming its way.

Everyday the Federation is left with an extra 1.70 lakh litres to handle which it simply can’t. Therefore, it is toying with the idea of declaring a ‘milk holiday’ once in a fortnight.

The idea is not to procure milk two days in a month so as to take care of storage problem and also the rising cost of procurement. The proposal will be placed before the APDDCF board to get its nod. The last time the Federation declared a milk holiday was in 1993.

The APDDCF has been flooded with surplus milk from September onwards. The per day procurement shot up from 3.90 lakh litres in August to 4.69 lakh litres in September. It touched 5.27 lakh litres in October and 5.93 lakh litres in November. In December, milk procurement is projected to be 6.29 lakh litres.

Faced with this unusual phenomenon, the Federation has started converting the excess milk into skimmed milk powder (SMP).

“We are doing all this only to not inconvenience farmers,” says Mohammed Ali Rafath, managing director and vice chairman, APDDCF.

Unlike private diaries, the APDDCF is procuring milk beyond its requirement to help the farmers. Its factory has a capacity to handle only 4 lakh litres a day, including 30,000 litres of by-products such as flavoured milk, butter, khova, lassi.

In the last few months it has been getting an extra 1.70 lakh litres milk per day. Of this, 1.02 lakh litres is buffalo milk and the rest cow. To procure this excess milk, it has to shell out Rs.41 lakh per day.

To tide over the problem, the APDDCF has started converting the milk into powder and now it has a stock of 1,000 metric tonnes of butter and 800 metric tonnes of skimmed milk powder. To clear this stockpile, the Federation has asked the Women Development and Child Welfare Department to use its powder milk in its programme of supplying cooked food to pregnant and lactating mothers.

“This way we hope to supply 100 tonnes of skimmed milk powder per month”, says Mr. Rafath.

The excess milk production is the result of milch animal induction programme wherein the government provides 25 per cent subsidy on purchase of cattle and also reimburses transport charges.

Another factor is the vigorous artificial insemination programme taken up by the Animal Husbandry Department.

Why can’t the APDDCF push up its sales? It cannot because there are no takers for its Vijay brand of milk. While Hyderabad has a liquid milk market of 12 lakh litres a day, APDDCF accounts for just 3.60 lakh litres a day.

Now the APDDCF is planning to develop forward linkages by strengthening its district market where the sales are very dismal.

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