Cows and buffaloes bred here will be sold to poor women at subsidised rates, says Somashekara Reddy
The Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF) will start a cattle bank in Surpur in Yadgir district to breed high-quality cows and buffaloes and give them to poor women, KMF Chairman Gali Somashekara Reddy has said.
He was speaking at the inauguration of the upgraded Bidar dairy and packaging unit here on Sunday.
We would get the best breeds from around the world and rear them at the bank. The cattle would then be sold at subsidised prices to poor women. This would not only give them a source of livelihood, but also increase milk production potential, he said.
“If a milch animal costs between Rs. 30,000 and 40,000 in the market, we would sell it for Rs. 10,000 to Rs 15,000,” he said. The KMF would tie up with banks and cooperative institutions to help women get easy loans to buy cattle, he said. The Bidar District Central Cooperative Bank, he said, had decided to give set aside Rs. 15 crore for this programme.
The work on building a cattle breeding and maintenance farm on 120 acres along the Krishna in Surpur was in progress and would be completed in two or three months, Mr. Reddy said.
“We plan to invite Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda to inaugurate the centre,” he added.
With 48 lakh litres being produced every day, Karnataka is the second-largest producer of milk in India.
“The State is now aiming at being the leader in milk production. We have plans to take milk production to 70 lakh litres a day in the next five to six years. We are taking several steps towards this, including providing a cash incentive of Rs. 3 a litre of buffalo milk, in addition to the Rs. 2 cash incentive given by the State government to farmers on every litre of milk sold to the KMF,” he said.
The federation would provide a grant of Rs. 2 lakh to construct buildings for milk producers' cooperative societies, he said. “Our dream is to have milk societies in every village.” The KMF would consider the demand for job security to the staff of societies.
The Bidar-Gulbarga milk union should focus on procuring more milk from farmers. “The union collects only around 50,000 litres a day, but we need to work towards a target of 3 lakh litres a day. If the procurement reaches 1-1.5 lakh litres, then we will set up an ice-cream unit in these regions,” he said. The KMF would set up a water plant to provide water to the Bidar dairy.
He denied allegations made by the former KMF chairman H.D Revanna that there were large-scale irregularities in the federation. Without naming Mr. Revanna, Mr. Reddy said he was making such allegations because he was “jealous”. “He has asked for a CBI inquiry. I am ready for any inquiry,” he said. “If I am found to have cheated farmers or misused funds, I will resign,” he added.
He urged Animal Husbandry Minister Revu Naik Belamagi to transfer community grazing lands in villages to the KMF so that it could cultivate fodder crops and distribute green grass and fodder among cattle rearers.
‘KMF will tie up with banks, cooperative institutions to help women get loans'
‘Work on cattle breeding and maintenance farm in Surpur will be completed within three months'