Raviraj Hegde K has been re-elected president of Dakshina Kannada Cooperative Milk Producers Union. This is the third successive term for Mr. Hegde, who belongs to the Sahakara Bharati, as president of the Union that covers 636 milk societies from Dakshina Kannada and Udupi.

As many as 13 candidates, including Mr. Hegde, from Bharatiya Janata Party supported Sahakara Bharati got elected as directors from among 16 posts in the elections held on May 26. The remaining three directors, who got elected, including the two former Presidents of DKMUL Seetaram Rai and Divakar Shetty, were Congress supported candidates.

Mr. Hedge said he would work to further improve the quality of milk provided to the customers and also take steps to increase milk procurement. While the procurement of milk was at 3.08 lakh litres, there was consumption of 3.47 lakh litres. Of the 3.47 lakh litres, raw milk consumption alone was at 2.97 litres. With measures namely subsidy for maintaining calfs and providing nutrients at subsidised cost the DKMUL will be self sustainable in three years in meeting the milk demand.

Mr. Hegde said the new unit to provide milk in flexi pack, which was being installed at a cost of Rs. 32 crore, will start functioning from next year. The new unit would help in providing milk that will have longer shelf life. They will start with production of 60,000 litres under the flexi pack.

After completion of the flexi pack unit, Mr. Hegde said the DKMUL would take up construction of new dairy plant in Manipal.

There was no scope of expanding the present plant, which has capacity of producing 80,000 litres per day, to meet the growing demand for milk in that region.

The DKMUL already has land in Oppur that has been purchased a cost of Rs. 2.5 crore.

An amount of nearly Rs. 45 crore was needed to set up the new plant that will have capacity of handling 2 lakh litres per day.

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