Milk Mission involving Self-Help Group (SHG) women is catching up in the district, thanks to the efforts of the District Rural Development Agency (DRDA).

The mission aimed at enhancing milk production in the state from its present 298.01 lakh litres per day to 496.31 lakh litres and the per capita milk consumption from 269 grams per day to 426 grams is gaining support of the SHG women as they see in the ‘Pala Pragathi Kendras’ (mini dairies) another avenue for boosting their village and family economies.

SHG women involving 700 members are today running 69 mini-dairies in the district producing nearly 1000 litres of milk per day. The mission launched at the fag end of 2011 started with three mini-dairies and by the end of the year 2012-13 increased to 69 mini-dairies. Due to the campaign launched by the DRDA in this regard a massive awareness had been created among the SHG women at every available forum. Members of SHG groups having sufficient land and inclination to earn a few rupees more for their family are finding the mini-dairies as a viable proposition, DRDA project director M.Maheswar Reddy said.

A mini-dairy consists of eight murrah buffaloes and eight cross bred cows. The animals will be purchased in two batches. The second batch of animals will be purchased 4-6 months after purchase of first batch of animals to ensure continuous milk production and income. In a span of one year DRDA succeeded in establishing 50 per cent of the target within a span of one year.

Each dairy unit is being established in 2 acres of land. The 10 SHG members who come forward to set up a dairy are formed into a Joint Liability Group (JLG) which is expected to earn an income of Rs.2,500 to Rs.3000 per month.

The District Rural Development Agency (DRDA) and the Department of Animal Husbandry are jointly training to women to run the dairies. DRDA additional project director Uma Devi told The Hindu that more and more women are coming forward set up mini-dairies.