Kerala to set up modern dairy farms to meet milk shortage

April 28th, 2009 - 1:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, April 28 (IANS) The Kerala government is working towards self-sufficiency in milk production by setting up four state-of-the-art dairy farms in the state on an outlay of Rs.20 crore.
Work on the first farm has begun at Kulathupuzha in Pathanamthitta district, Animal Husbandry Minister C. Divakaran said.

“The state today faces a milk shortage of 11 lakh (1.1 million) litres per day. But by 2011, when all the four farms begin production, Kerala will no longer be dependent on neighbouring states for daily milk supply,” Divakaran told IANS.

The other three dairy farms, which are at various stages of project finalisation, will come up at Mattupetti, Kolahalmedu and Palakkad.

“The state government will provide all the basic infrastructure while financial support will come from NPCBB (National Project for Cattle and Buffalo Breeding),” Divakaran said.

“The one at Kolahalmedu will be a joint venture financially supported by non-resident Malayalees,” the minister said, adding: “Each farm will have a minimum of 100 cows, this can go up to 200.”

Kerala has nearly 800,000 dairy farmers, associated with over 3,000 societies that produce about a million litres of milk per day.

There are 22 dairies in the state, of which 12 are affiliated to the state-owned Kerala Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation, while the remaining are privately-controlled.

Kerala has the lowest per capita availability of milk at 172 gram per day per head among southern states, while Andhra Pradesh ranks first with 269 grams a day. Punjab leads the national average with 961 grams.

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