Punjab State has an area of 50362 Sq. Km. comprising of 12352 inhabitated villages in 22 districts. Livestock plays an important role in the Rural Economy of the State. The contribution of the Livestock sector in the Net State Domestic Product is about 13%. The State Government is providing highest priority for the removal of poverty and creation of Self Employment Opportunities to the rural masses. Animal Husbandry activities have attained importance as they create self employment opportunities as well as Subsidiary Occupation to the weaker section of the society. As per livestock census 2007, there were 17.61 lac cattle and 50.04 lacs buffaloes in the state. Out of this, the breedable cows and breedable buffaloes are 10.30 lac and 29.08 lac respectively. Punjab state produced 94.23 lac tons milk during the year 2010-11 contributing 9% of the total milk production of the country though it has less than 2% of total cattle and buffalo production in the country. Per capita availability of milk in Punjab is highest in the country i.e. 931 grams.
State Government Assistance
To increase milk production in the state, Govt. has chalked out ambitious programs providing Scientific Breeding Technique and Effective Health Cover. There are 1367 hospitals (785 provincial + 582 zila parishad) and 1485 dispensaries are functioning in the state. In addition, 19 Polyclinics, two frozen semen banks at Nabha and Ropar, one cattle breeding farm, one buffalo breeding farm, two fodder seed production farms at Kulemajra (Patiala) and Mattewara (Ludhiana) and one Regional Disease Diagnostic Lab (Jalandhar) are also working in the state. Veterinary Vaccine Institute, Ludhiana is engaged in the manufacturing of various types of vaccines and antigens required for livestock. The State Department is providing Artificial Insemination (AI) Services in these hospitals and dispensaries with AI as 4330562 for the year 2012-13.
Facilitation by Milkfed
Milkfed has strong base with 11 District Cooperative milk unions having 9 milk plants of the unions and it also has 2 Cattle Feed Plants at Khanna and Ghania Ke Banger, 1 Fodder Seed Processing Unit at Bassi Pathana, 1 Frozen Semen Station at Khanna and UHT Ice Cream Manufacturing Plant at Chandigarh. Milkfed has its two cattle feed manufacturing units of total production capacity of 500 MTPD, one at Bhattian near Khanna and the another at Ghania-ke-Banger. Four types of balanced cattle feed i.e. ISI type II, High Energy, by pass protein and buffalo feed is being manufactured under the name of Verka. Both the Plants are IS/ISO-9001:2008 and IS-15000:1998 certified units. Verka balanced cattle feed is supplied at a very genuine rate. Cattle feed plant, Khanna is also manufacturing urea molasses lick brick and pre-specific mineral mixture. The By-Pass Protein Plant situated at Bhattian is of capacity 50 MT per day at Khanna, and provides cheaper source of proteins, essential amino acids and improve reproductive efficiency of milch animals.
The handling capacity of milk plants is 19.75 lac litres per day. Milkfed has organized 7311 Societies at village level in the state of Punjab and enrolled 396769 members up till December, 2015. The average milk procurement was 11.60 lac liters during the year 2013-14 and during the year 2014-15 the average milk procurement is 12.87 lac liters per day and up till January, 2016 is 12.66 LLPD. The milk is being procured from village level Cooperative Societies after testing for Fat, SNF and taste. This collected milk is transported from Milk Societies to Milk Plants after chilling at Milk Collection Centers located area wise or through BMCs installed at village level. After chilling up to 4-6 degree Centigrade, the milk is transported to main plant for processing and onward product manufacturing through insulated tankers. Milkfed has created an infrastructure in its milkshed area for transparency in testing, payment of milk and quality improvement. Milkfed under various scheme for the benefit of milk producers have installed 224 BMC at its own level, 102 under NDP-1 scheme, 237 under CMP and 13 under RKVY scheme with chilling capacity as 1214700 liters. Farmers/Milk Producers of the state are getting Rs. 5 to Rs. 10 per kilogram fat quality incentive, souring/curd decreases. By installing 2397 AMCUs, Milkfed has initiated transparency in milk payment as the producer gets pay slip depicting quantity of fat/ SNF contents of milk along with amount payable.
To encourage farmers to adopt dairy profession, Milkfed under Assistance to cooperative schemes has provided 1415 Milking Machines and 4 Milking Parlors to the milk producers of Punjab on 50% subsidy. Usage of milking machines improves bacteriological quality of milk, hygienic conditions of teats of animals and reduce stress to animals and milkers and somatic cell counts.
Besides milk procurement & its marketing, Milkfed is also concentrating on Productivity Enhancement Programme to increase the milk yield of the animals by providing technical input activities at the door steps of the farmers relating to animal health care, AI services, quality fodder seeds and quality cattle feed of various variants.
Empowerment Of Women Through Cooperatives:
Milkfed realized that women participation in Dairy Cooperatives can help rural women in becoming self-confident, self-reliant and can run dairy cooperatives more efficiently. Presently, out of 7122 functional societies, 1022 Women Dairy Cooperative Societies with a membership of 48592 women members are functioning. 390 Women Dairy Cooperative Societies have been organised under STEP (Support to Training & Employment Programme for Women).Under STEP 90% grant is being received from Ministry of Women & Child Development, GOI.