The Centre and the state government have joined hands to give an initial financial boost of nearly Rs 70 lakh to the dairy industry in Bundelkhand region of Uttar Pradesh.
The grant is being proposed to be infused into the dairy value chain development, which according to officials, would lend a fillip to employment opportunities in times of coronavirus pandemic. Value chain involves the host of activities carried out to deliver final product to consumers.
According to officials at rural development department, dairy value chain development project is proposed to be carried out by women self-help groups (SHGs) under the State Rural Livelihood Mission (SRLM). The department, in a letter to rural development commissioner K Ravindra Naik on September 18, said the Centre and the state governments would bear financial burden of the project in 60:40 ratio. The letter said that ensuring the validity of expenditure would be at the discretion of rural development commissioner and mission director, SRLM.
The department said the funds would be utilised in phases. “Funds allocated for the project will not be spent without the approval of the designated authority,” the letter added.
The state government has authorised the rural development commissioner and mission director (SRLM) to ensure proper utilization of funds.
Officials of rural development department will also be required to furnish fund utilization certificates and ensure that funds utilised for the project are not allocated under any other head to do away with the possibility of duplicity.
Researches show that Bundelkhand region records an average production of around 22 lakh kg milk per day which is only 5% of the total production in UP. Banda and Jalaun districts have the highest milk production in the region due to high bovine population.
According to industry standards, unless two-third of the herd is in milking, returns will always be negative. Experts said that in Bundelkhand only one-third of the cattle and half the buffaloes are in reproductive stage.
Earlier, women from Bundelkhand region had come together to form Balinee Milk Producer Company, a project funded by the National Rural Livelihood Mission and SRLM. The project mobilized over 9,000 women in about 230 villages and put in place an efficient system of milk procurement.