Gujarat goats go global with its milk

December 10, 2020

Prashant Rupera | TNN

VADODARA — For nearly two decades, Bhoja Saniya, a sixth generation ‘maldhari’ was selling his goats’ milk either to small time tea vendors or as ‘mawa’ and ghee to unbranded local dairies. This loose trade would earn Saniya, who owns 100 goats and 200 sheep, a paltry Rs 15 per litre of milk. But it was in the past.

Now, the tribal maldhari herdsman is getting his money’s worth after organised players have started buying his goats’ milk for Rs 35 a litre to produce frozen goat milk, goat milk powder and even goat milk soaps to be sold in both national and international markets.

“There are 24 villages just in our Jamjodhpur taluka where we maldharis are settled. Put together we own 36,000 livestock just in one taluka. Regular collection of milk will generate additional income for everyone,” said Saniya, a resident of Sheth Vadala village of Jamnagar’s Jamjodhpur taluka.

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In recent times goat milk has caught the fancy of health freaks for whom it is light on stomach, easy to digest and has high-quality protein.

“We have started procuring 200 litres per day goat milk at Rs 30-40 a litre from around 25 farmers of Surendranagar and Rajkot districts,” said Shrey Kumar, co-founder of Rajasthan-based Aadvik Foods, which takes pride in launching India’s first brand of camel milk.

“The milk is processed in Kutch. There is a lot of demand for goat milk in the United States, Singapore and Middle East where we have started direct supply to consumers while we are also exploring Canada, United Kingdom and Europe,” said Kumar, adding that his firm wants to increase the procurement to over 500 litres a day.

Not just Aadvik Foods, many Delhi-based players like Courtyard Farms, Nutragoat, Farm Fresh and others have also started selling goat milk which is said to be the closest to mother’s milk. Some players sell the frozen milk in the range of Rs 400 a litre, milk powder at Rs 1,200 while soaps are sold at Rs 150!

“While Aadvik Foods has started procuring milk from breeders, we have also submitted a proposal to Surendranagar’s Sursagar Dairy to start collecting goat milk from breeders in Surendranagar and Morbi districts which is home to Jhalawadi breed goats that give 1.5 to 2 litres milk a day. Like camel milk, goat milk has immense potential,” said Ramesh Bhatti, programme director of Sahjeevan Trust, NGO which closely works with nomadic tribes.

“Like Jhalawadi breed is indigenous to Surendranagar, districts like Bhavnagar, Amreli and Junagadh are home to Gohilwadi breed which too gives good yield,” said Bhatti.

“We have received the proposal and we will be exploring its potential,” said Gurdit Singh, managing director of Sursagar Dairy, a member union of the Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation that markets brand Amul.

Gujarat is also home to Kahami goat, a two-coloured breed of Saurashtra, which got national recognition as it was registered by the National Bureau of Animal Genetic Resources (NBAGR) – the nodal agency for registration of newly identified germplasm of livestock and poultry of the country in 2018. 

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