With end of NDP-1, dairy sector awaits its newer, bigger avatar

December 4, 2019

AHMEDABAD — With the first phase of the National Dairy Plan (NDP-1) having ended on November 30, all eyes are now on the Centre, which has to clear the second phase of the ambitious plan, which, for the first time, will look to cover private dairies seeking assistance.

While NDP-1, which was launched in 2012 with an outlay of Rs 2,242 crore, focussed on milk production and breed development, the second phase is aimed at improving the processing infrastructure and creating market access in remote and unexplored areas in the country.

“There is also a discussion about including private dairies in the coverage of NDP-2,” Dilip Rath, Chairman, National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), told Businessline.

“For the first time private dairies are being considered for assistance to set up processing facilities under the same terms and conditions as cooperatives. They will, however, have to meet the set criteria and qualify for support. But if this happens, it will be a big support for small private dairies.”

NDDB has initiated talks with the World Bank for assistance, and with the concerned government departments, too. The projected financial outlay for NDP-2, which is likely to be cleared soon, is about Rs 8,000 crore.

‘Dark spots’
It is an “unfinished dream” of Dr Verghese Kurien, considered the Milkman of India, to spread dairy activity in every part of the country, said Rath. “Although we are talking about white revolution, India’s map isn’t white as yet. There are still some dark spots, where small producers are left out and require market access,” he added.It is important to give the farmers in remote areas more market access for their inclusion in the dairy systems, “either through cooperatives or through producer companies”, said Rath. “This is one area where we feel there is a gap and we need to do more,” he added.

The point is to create support infrastructure for dairying and make it a professional activity with better market access. NDDB also looks at creating milk quality testing equipment at critical points of procurement areas, besides expanding the coverage into uncovered areas. Today, there are about 3.20 lakh villages with potential. Of these, dairy activity has reached about 2 lakh villages, leaving about 1.2 lakh yet to be covered.

Focus regions
The focus regions will be the North-East, other eastern States and those where there are areas facing an access challenge. Besides, NDP-2 will target animal disease control, which is critical for Indian milk products to reach global markets.NDP-1 has achieved most of its desired goals — of increasing milk production in the country by implementing breed development and improvement programmes. Milk production has grown at more than 6 per cent in the past five years.

NDP-1 was aimed at improving breed with the production of high-genetic bulls and enhancing the reach of the cooperative structure. Under the scheme, an additional 55,000 villages were covered for milk collection.

NDP is largely financed by a loan from the International Development Association of the World Bank with implementing agencies appointed across States by the NDDB.

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