Distribution of skimmed milk powder (SMP) of the Karnataka Milk Federation for children aged below three will start in the district in the next few days. This skimmed powder will be supplied in addition to the nutrition supplements being given to 52,000 children aged between six months and three.
Deputy Director of Women and Child Welfare A. Shakuntala said each child would get 500 gm of milk powder which might last for 15 days.
Source of protein
Paediatrician Shantaram Baliga welcomed the move and said it was a good source of protein. In the last six months, positive changes had been introduced in ensuring nutritious food for children. “It is a step in the right direction,” he added. Ms. Shankuntala said that an indent had been placed before Dakshina Kannada District Cooperative Milk Producers’ Union Limited (DKMUL). “We are expecting supply in another three days,” she said and added that these packets would be given to the beneficiaries by anganwadi personnel, who had the list of children in their respective areas.
An official from DKMUL said that the union had received indents to supply 26 tonnes of SMP to Dakshina Kannada and 20 tonnes to Udupi district.
He said the union was not producing SMP as milk procurement (2.38 lakh litres) was less than the demand for 3.5 lakh litres in the two districts. It would be procured from other unions and supplied to anganwadis centres, the official said.
Sources said that supply of SMP was among three schemes announced by the State government to help the cash-strapped KMF.
The government would purchase SMP at Rs. 135 per kg. The federation was unable to clear SMP stocks because of countrywide surplus and slump in the price.
The inability to sell SMP created a shortage of working capital for majority of the 13 unions, they added.
The government had agreed to share half the loss suffered by the unions while selling the powder below the cost of production of Rs. 180 per kg. It would also bear the cost incurred by milk unions on re-processing of old skimmed milk powder (SMP) to ensure that the powder quality did not deteriorate.