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Public-Private Participation Essential for Milk Self-sufficiency: Minister

In Agriculture
May 31, 2023

Stressing the indispensable role of public and private sectors in ensuring Kerala’s self-sufficiency in milk production, Animal Husbandry and Dairy Development Minister J. Chinchurani today said the role of cooperative societies is also integral to the mission.

The presidents and secretaries of cooperative societies must be roped into the dairy industry in a stronger way, she said after inaugurating the ‘Layam 2023’ Business-to-Business conclave organised by the state-owned Kerala Feeds Limited (KFL) at Nedumbassery, 45 km north of the city.

“It is with this aim that we have assembled at this event, which must also bring KFL’s private dealers into the milk industry,” the minister noted at the opening session of the day-long event.

J.Chinchurani also disclosed that the Kerala government is going ahead with its moves for a legislation that guarantees completely unadulterated feed for the cattle so as check the inflow of low-quality feed to in the state.

The conclave, conceived by KFL as an annual event, also honoured dairy farmers and dealers and presented awards to self-owned primary milk cooperative society presidents and secretaries.

“A set of awards going to the private dealers is a step in this direction,” the minister said, declaring open the conclave at the CIAL Convention Centre.

Observing that lower production cost can help make dairy farming profitable, Smt Chinchurani said fodder grass will be popularised and that efforts are on to bring in silage (pickled fodder grass) from Andhra Pradesh.

“One way to make dairy industry profitable is to popularise Milma products,” she said. “We have already rolled out programmes for opening Milma booths in schools. This is also a measure to check the increasing use of narcotics among children.”

Actor Jayaram, who is KFL’s brand ambassador, said dairy farmer is a status which can be equated with god. “My reputation of growing cows earns me immense respect from the Telugu, Kannada and Tamil film industries. “If you are keen to become something, you will achieve it. That is my lesson on striving to become a dairy farmer,” he said, adding: “The Minister is leading us, knowing well the nuances of the industry.”

KFL Chairman K. Sreekumar, who chaired the session, said the PSU has invariably helped in equipping dairy farmers to face any challenges. “We are socially commited and have been consistently working for rural development,” he added.

KFL Managing Director Dr B. Sreekumar highlighted the role of the PSU in checking the price rise of cattle feeds. “KFL and Kerala’s dairy farmers are mutually dependent,” he said while welcoming the gathering. “During the 2018 floods and the COVID-triggered crisis that followed, KFL worked untiringly to mitigate the issues of the state’s dairy farmers, thanks also to our enthusiastic employees.”

An interesting feature of the conclave was an interactive session with the dairy dealers.

KFL Assistant General Manager Usha Padmanabhan proposed a vote of thanks.

Joseph P.D. of KUCS Irumbayam (Kottayam) won the award for running a dairy farm while being the president of the primary cooperative. Asha Mathew of KUCS Irumbupalam (Idukki) won the award for the same achievement as the secretary of any primary cooperative. Namitha S. Lal of Alappuzha won the award for the Best KFL Private Dealer.

The award for the best KFL dealer of the state went to Anoop P.A. (Ernakulam), while Mathew A.G. of Kannur won the honour for the second-best in the category. CSMS of Sulthan Bathery (Wayanad) was adjudged the best KFL cooperative, while KUCS Mananthavady of the same district won the second prize.

Chinchurani gave away the prizes, while Jayaram presented shawls to the winners.

Others at the function included ERMCPU-Milma Chairman M.T. Jayan, KFL Director P.N. Binu and Animal Husbandry Joint Secretary Dr R. Rajeev.

KFL, which is headquartered at Kallettumkara near Irinjalakuda in Thrissur district, manufacturers products for various breeds of cows with the aim of keeping them in good health and ensuring better productivity and quality of milk.