After introducing fresh and long-life camel milk apart from chocolates, home-grown dairy giant – Amul – has forayed further into value-added products with the launch of camel milk ice-cream and milk powder.
A first even for India’s dairy major, camel milk has remained in the news since last two years. In September 2018 Prime Minister Narendra Modi had hailed its virtue. Addressing a gathering at Amul Dairy’s chocolate plant at Mogar in Anand district, Modi had narrated how he was ridiculed for describing camel milk as nutritious once.
It was during his stint as chief minister of Gujarat that he had tried promoting camel milk for its nutritive value and was “scoffed at” by people around him, he had revealed.
“Amul camel milk powder will enable lakhs of individuals to try the goodness of camel milk across the country for the first time,” said R S Sodhi, managing director of the Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) that markets brand Amul.
“The milk powder made from natural camel milk procured from camel herders in Kutch will have shelf life of eight months,” he said.
“This will be real boon to the milk producers of Kutch as it will help extend the shelf life of milk and extend its availability through Amul’s nation-wide distribution network,” Sodhi said, adding that since Amul launched camel milk products, rates of camel milk in Gujarat have doubled, leading to revival of the sector.
GCMMF had entered into a MoU with the Kutch District Cooperative Milk Producers Union Limited or Sarhad Dairy, Sahjeevan Trust and the Kutch Unt Uccherak Maldhari Sangathan for procurement, processing and marketing of camel milk in April 2018. Kutch milk union is currently collecting nearly 70,000 litres of camel milk every month.
There are around 30,000 camels in Gujarat, mostly of Kutchi and Kharai breeds. The state is home to around 1,000 camel breeders mainly from Rabari, Fakirani Jat, Sama and Sodha communities.