Bowing to public demand, the Tamil Nadu Milk Producers' Federation (Aavin) has increased the supply of butter and ghee to Chennai city.

“We want to increase the supply of milk as well. But, it will depend upon procurement,” official sources said. Requesting anonymity, they said that the supply of butter, which is in great demand in the city thanks to its quality and cost as compared to private dairies, has been increased from 1,500 kg a day to 2,500 kg since last week.

Similarly, the supply of ghee has been increased from 2,000 kg a day to 3,000 kg. “This may go up to even 4,000 kg.”

An official said that the enhanced supply of butter and ghee would continue till Deepavali. “Of course, it is only in Chennai, routed only through Aavin's own outlets.”

The sources said that Aavin was now procuring 23 lakh litres of milk a day all over the State. From this, the supply for Chennai city was 10.5 lakh litres and for the districts, 10 lakh litres.

“We are confident that the quantum of procurement will continue to be the same till November. After that it might taper off slightly,” the sources said. At present 2.5 lakh litres was being processed for making various products including butter and ghee.

Besides, it was imperative to have sufficient stocks of butter and ghee when the procurement was good.

About the clamour for more Aavin milk for the city, the sources pointed out that at present the federation was procuring a litre of cow's milk at Rs.18 and selling toned milk at Rs.17.75.

“Toned milk forms 60 per cent of the total sales and it is considerably cheaper compared to private dairies.”

Apart from procuring at Rs.18, the federation has to transfer the milk from the society to the unions, chill it, add powder or butter, pasteurise it, transport it to Chennai and chill it again before releasing for supply to city. “All these also involve substantial cost.”

Aavin is banking on the scheme launched by Chief Minister Jayalalithaa for improving procurement.

Said the sources, “Under the scheme 12,000 milch animals are to be distributed to the farmers by March next. As all these are cross-breeds, we are confident that on an average we will get six litres a day from each animal. Thus, of the total 72,000 litres of milk expected under the scheme, at least 60,000 litres can be procured by Aavin.

“We are planning to rope in more and more milk-pouring members. We are ready to extend considerable assistance, including loans from the National Bank for Agricultural and Rural Development (NABARD).Our target under the NABARD programme per annum is two lakh animals. Once there is more procurement, the supply of milk for the city could also be increased.”

The sources expressed confidence that Aavin need not bother about competition because its products were well received.

“The current grievance of the public is shortage of supply. We hope to attend to it very soon as the Chief Minister's programme aims at the Second White Revolution. Then the question of competition itself does not arise.”

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