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Highlighting the importance of dairy towards doubling the farmers’ income in the next five years, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has sought the cooperation of domestic dairy giant Amul to bolster the state dairy space.
UP is home to the country’s largest livestock population and is India’s top dairy producer, yet its yield is quite low compared to other states, such as Gujarat, Amul's home state. UP contributes nearly 20 per cent to the national milk production.
Over the years, Amul has been expanding its retail and processing network in UP even as the state’s own dairy brand Parag continued to lose market share and brand equity. Parag is the product of UP Pradeshik Cooperative Dairy Federation, which was set up in 1962 to develop organised dairying on cooperative lines and protect farmers from milkmen.
In a review meeting, Adityanath lauded Amul for setting up dairy processing plants in UP and aiding state farmers become self reliant. He also expressed hope that Amul would help Parag develop into a more potent dairy brand in the state.
The Adityanath government targets augmenting dairy processing capacity in the VIP pockets of Varanasi and Gorakhpur, which are the parliamentary constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Adityanath respectively.
While the capacity of Varanasi dairy plant is being scaled up from 4 lakh litres (LL) to 6 LL daily, the capacity for the Gorakhpur unit would be increased from one LL to 3 LL.
The Varanasi plant is being outsourced to Amul under an agreement. On the same pattern, the Gorakhpur and Kanpur dairy plants would be handed over to private companies after a bidding process.
Over the past 10-15 years, the UP dairy cooperative movement failed to keep pace with changing times and to provide remunerative prices to milk farmers due to inefficiency, alleged corruption and politicisation of the sector.
In his directives, Adityanath also stressed that the fall in the number of Parag affiliated dairy cooperative unions from 59 to 18 exemplified its failure. He asked officials to take steps to re-energise Parag, which was once the top dairy brand in UP until other companies entered the state.
The CM has suggested Gorakhpur region was fertile and also abundant in cattle fodder and water. As such, the region was ideal for proliferation of dairy processing units.