IBEF: May, 2013
New Delhi: The Government of Punjab gave its approval to the expansion plan of state-owned Milkfed entailing setting up of four mega milk plants worth Rs 250 crore (US$ 44.83 million) each in the state.
The aim is to make Verka as a largest selling brand and that could be realised only by giving a big push to expansion of Milkfed, said Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal, Deputy Chief Minister of Punjab, Government of India.
The expansion plan would focus on right from encouraging dairy sector, setting up organised dairy farms, reorienting procurement of raw milk, scientific collection and chilling chain, ultra-modern milk processing facilities, value addition of milk products and effective marketing network to exploit the brand image of Verka, added Mr Badal.
In order to strengthen dairy sector at the grass root level, a specialised scheme for encouraging women in the sector that would provide subsidised loan to them to set up farms, technical help for setting up of dairy farms and support to such units by providing veterinary care and farm feed to dairy entrepreneurs in order to strengthen dairy sector from grass root level has also been approved.
Mr Badal asked Mr S K Sandhu, Principal Secretary Cooperative to put up a proposal for giving dairy sector an equivalent status as of agriculture for the purpose of bank credit.
“We have to increase the processing capacity four-fold and these plants should be of international standards with ISO 9002 specifications,” said Mr Badal. He further highlighted that the new diversification plan has a special incentive for the farmers who would switch over from paddy or wheat farming to complete fodder farming.