Kerala is set to become self-sufficient in milk production, Food, Civil Supplies and Animal Husbandry Minister C. Divakaran said here on Thursday, giving details about the increase in milk production the State had registered over the last four years.

Mr. Divakaran said at a press conference that over 3 lakh tonnes of milk used to be brought annually from the neighbouring States four years ago. This came down to around 1.5 lakh tonnes in 2009-10 because of the increased milk production.

He said he had no doubt that shortly, the State would be self-sufficient in milk. He attributed this achievement to a string of initiatives the government had taken over the last four years to help the dairy farmers.

The government had spent nearly Rs. 250 crore in this sector over the last four years on programmes subsidising the supply of high-milk-yielding varieties of cows and cattle feed, ensuring free veterinary medical service, including artificial insemination facilities in all panchayats, providing insurance coverage for cows and subsidising interest on bank loans taken by farmers to purchase cows. The government had initiated steps to open three “high-tech” dairy farms in the public sector at Kulathupuzha in Kollam district and Mattupetty and Kolahalamedu in Idukki district to produce high-milk-yielding varieties of cows for the farmers of the State. These farms would be opened in the current financial year.