Shishir Arya | TNN
NAGPUR — Responding to a call by city MP and Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari for helping the region’s orange growers as well, Mother Dairy has drawn up plans to launch its own brand of Santra barfi soon.
It is a popular local sweet named after Nagpur orange. Mother Dairy’s Santra barfi, like the other brands in the market, may not have any orange in it. However, natural essence of orange would be added.
Mother Dairy, a subsidiary of National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), had taken over state government’s milk scheme plant at Seminary Hills two years ago. It has been marketing the Mother Dairy brand of milk and other products made here. Gadkari was instrumental in bringing NDDB to Nagpur that helped in reviving the plant that was earlier under the state government.
Santra barfi available now in the market has pumpkin or lauki (bottle gourd) as base with orange essence added. Mother Dairy’s barfi would be a milk product with natural orange essence. The essence would be required in a small quantity and NDDB would soon be talking to Maha Orange, a federation of orange growers, for providing the material.
Initially, the sweet will be made at a third party facility but eventually production will be shifted to Seminary Hills plant, said an official. As milk will be the main ingredient, the cost may be higher than Santra barfis in the market now. Using milk increases the cost of raw material 6 to 7 times against using vegetable, said the source.
“Though we are basically into dairy development, the minister asked us to come up with some plans that may benefit the orange growers. So it was decided to launch Santra barfi. The product would be available at retail stores apart from Mother Dairy’s own outlets,” said Dilip Rath, Chairman of NDDB. This would come under the milk product category, a segment that has seen 61% year on year growth, he said.
Manoj Jawanjal, the director of Maha Orange, said the small initiative was a welcome step.
Rath said there were plans to also launch Srikhand. Plans have been drawn to take milk procurement to 5 lakh litre in next three years. A present it is 2 lakh litres a day. Growth in dairy business has also led to farmers buying new cattle. Farmers in Vidarbha purchased 4,200 new cattle head while in Marathwada the figure was 2,988 till May 2019, he said.