Officials consider establishment of proper follow-up system significant
Cows procured under the State Government-funded scheme are contributing 20,000 litres a day for the public milk distribution system administered by the Tamil Nadu Cooperative Milk Producers' Federation, popularly known as Aavin.
Around 8,000 milch cows have been given to beneficiaries and the figure accounts for two-third of the 12,000 cross-bred Jersey cows to be distributed this year.
Chief Minister Jayalalithaa formally launched this scheme along with a number of other schemes at Tiruvallur in September on the birth anniversary of former Chief Minister C.N. Annadurai.
The scheme has an in-built feature to strengthen the public milk distribution system of the federation. The government order issued by the Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries Department in late July stated that District Collectors should ensure that Deputy Registrars (Dairy) take immediate action to form new Primary Milk Producers' Co-operative Societies with the beneficiaries of the scheme. Such societies, in turn, sell milk to the District Unions, which are constituents of Aavin.
Compared to the total quantity of milk procurement (around 25 lakh litres a day) by the Unions, the share of the cows is modest but, what officials consider significant is that they have been able to establish a proper system of follow-up. Another feature of the scheme is that priority is given to those districts that are deficit in milk production.
Under the sheep/goat distribution scheme, about 60,000 beneficiaries have been covered – around 2.5 lakh animals have been distributed. With four goats/sheep per beneficiary 40,000 more will benefit this year.
Referring to reports of mortality of animals, an official says it is negligible. Under both schemes, the animals are insured. The beneficiaries undergo training, which emphasises on vaccination to be given to the livestock. At regular intervals, officials examine the animals and provide adequate veterinary services. Veterinarians visit the villages of the beneficiaries on Saturdays to administer de-worming dosage to the sheep/goats and foot and mouth vaccination to cows.