CFTRI proposes formation of company to manufacture & market Green Milk

The Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI), Mysore, submitted a proposal to the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-Tech (CSIR-Tech) that would enable research institutes to establish a company to manufacture and market its Green Milk, a product aimed at containing malnutrition in India.

Green Milk is prepared from Moringa (a soluble protein); Portulaca (leafy oils); chicory (CH20) inulin, mushroom Vitamin D2, and Chia/Ocimum (an emulsifier). The entire composition, including proteins, fats, sugars and Vitamins A and K, is from plant sources.

The idea was to have an alternative to animal milk that is equivalent to human milk and a pure vegetarian beverage. The contents of milk are known for their characteristics and nutritional role. CSIR-CFTRI’s research team looked at  similar and better molecules in other plants and put them together to constitute the product.

Green Milk was unveiled to the public to taste during the seventh essay of the International Food Convention, which was held in Mysore in December 2013, and garnered a positive response from healthcare providers too.

“The enquiries has been mind-boggling as considerable interest was evinced not just from food processing companies, including the ice cream industry, nutraceutical and health drink manufacturers, but from organisations associated with the prevention of cruelty to animals,” Prof Ram Rajasekharan, director, CSIR-CFTRI, Mysore, stated via telephone.

“This led us to ponder over a spin-off within the institute to establish an industry to scale up from lab to land. There is a provision in the government of India that a company could be set up by a research institute like ours. So we are exploring such an option through CSIR-Tech, and it will take a year for the required clearances,” he added.

The product, currently referred to as Green Milk (Version 1.4) because it took a year and four months to get the first beverage samples. It can be used as a nutritional beverage, as an alternative to milk. During the research, the milk has been used in preparation of hot beverages like coffee and tea too, though some fine-tuning is required in terms of taste.

Now that the research and development (R&D) is complete, the next obvious step is to scale-up the  process and reformulation to provide tailor-made milk for each age group. This is because Green Milk has the big advantage that the constituents could be put together to suit different needs.

It could either be protein-rich milk for infants or low-fat, low-calorie milk for the aged, and could also be a beverage sans allergenic properties, as it does not contain lactose. In terms of nutrition, green milk comes very close to mother’s milk.

“In terms of shelf-life, Green Milk could be stored as a powder and reconstituted whenever needed. We are working on the aspect of  long-duration storage to make it more useful,” said Prof Rajasekharan.

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Amul launches India’s first ‘milk ATM’

Amul dairy factory has set up an Any Time Milk vending machine in Anand, Gujarat. PTI Photo
PTIAmul dairy factory has set up an Any Time Milk vending machine in Anand, Gujarat. 

Automatic teller machines not only dispense money, ATM-like machines also vend other products such as chocolates and soft drinks. But Amul has gone a step further: it will now sell milk through “Any Time Milk” vending machines.

The pilot project of this 24×7 ATM began with the installation of a vending machine at the gate of Amul Dairy in Anand town of Gujarat on Sunday.

“To start with, we plan to set up these ATMs at each of the 1,100 ‘mandalis’ (village-level milk collection centres) in Kheda and Anand districts where we market Amul, Ramsinh Parmar, Chairman, Kheda District Milk Producers’ Union, popularly known as Amul Dairy, told Business Line on Tuesday.

In Anand and Kheda towns, these ATMs will be installed at different public places to enable the consumers to buy milk whenever needed.

He said Amul Dairy is in talks with the Kheda District Cooperative Bank to work out financial aspects of the project.

For a Rs 10-currency note, which this machine will read through a sensor, the ATM would dispense a 300 ml pouch of Amul Taaza milk. The ATM, fitted with refrigeration facility, has a capacity to hold 150 pouches at a time.

While Kheda Union, which owns the Amul brand, markets milk in Anand and Kheda district, it is marketed by the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) elsewhere.

GCMMF is also likely to follow suit after a review of the project.

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Verghese Kurien, Amul man who empowered and enriched farmers

He made the ordinary, neighbourhood ‘doodhwala’ (milkman) a key player in the country’s struggle for economic development and progress at the grassroot level.

Verghese Kurien, the man who brought milk revolution in the country, died early on Sunday in Gujarat. He was instrumental in laying the foundation of democratic enterprises at the remote villages and farflung hamlets which ensured economic justice. And it was with people’s voluntary participation.

Honoured as the architect of India’s White Revolution, which catapulted India to be the world’s largest milk producer, Kurien managed the feat in the 1970s at a time when it faced grim uncertainties over its food security.

“He strongly believed that by placing technology and professional management in the hands of the farmers, the living standards of millions of rural poor could be improved,” Sodhi said on Sunday in a tribute to Kurien’s management skills.

Born on November 26, 1921 in Kozhikode, Kerala, Kurien – who was destined to become India’s top ‘milkman’ – graduated from Loyola College in 1940 and later completed his engineering from Guindy College of Engineering, Chennai. But it was after a brief stint at TISCO that he obtained a government of India scholarship to study dairy engineering.

Having acquired specialized training at the Imperial Institute of Animal Husbandry and Dairying in Bangalore, Kurien went to the US and completed his masters in Mechanical Engineering with dairy engineering as a minor subject from the Michigan State University, in 1948.

A year later, he was assigned to a Government Creamery in Anand, Gujarat as part of his bond commitment.

Arriving in Anand on a hot May 13 in 1949, Kurien was a harried man, only waiting to be released from his bond and leave the place as quickly as possible.

He got his release orders after six months and was all set to pack up and go to the city of big bucks, Bombay (now, Mumbai) – but a minor incident halted him in his tracks.

Just as he was preparing his exit, Tribhuvandas Patel, the then chairman of Kaira District Co-operative Milk Producers Union, popularly known as ‘Amul’, with whom Kurien had developed a good friendship, requested him to stay back in Anand for some more time and help him organise his co-operative society’s dairy equipment.

Kurien stayed back for a few more days…going on to become a legend through Operation Flood, launched in 1971.

“His forced tenure at Anand changed the destiny of the entire Indian dairy sector. He help the fledgling dairy co-operative movement and was forced to stay there to see it flourish. The rest is history,” Sodhi said.

The Dairy co-operative movement had a modest beginning with the first Dairy Co-operative Union in Gujarat formed in 1942 with only two village co-operatives joining as members.

Around 65 years later that figure has grown to a staggering 16,100 with 3.20 million milk producers pouring millions of tonnes of milk into the GCMMF containers twice daily.

The NDDB, formed by Kurien’s efforts, replicated the Amul Model all over India with remarkable results which dramatically increased the country’s milk production.

Through Kurien’s efforts vide the Amul Model, the country’s milk production shot up from a mere 20 million metric tonnes (MMT) per annum in 1960 to a whopping 122 MMT last year.

The GCMMF’s average daily milk production rose from 2.50 million kgs to 12.5 million kgs during the same period.

Kurien’s main contribution was to design systems and institutions, which people could develop themselves, as he believed development of man can best be achieved by putting in his hands the instruments of development.

“He believed that the greatest assets of this country are its people, and dedicated his life to the task of harnessing the power of the people in a manner which promoted their larger interests,” Sodhi explained.

He proved it by the Operation Flood in 1971 – creating a national milk grid – which was implemented in three phases.

Not only did it result in making India the world’s largest producer of milk and milk products, it also helped reduce malpractices by milk producers and merchants, and alleviated poverty during that era.

The world took note of Kurien’s efforts and showered honours on him, including India’s Padma Vibhushan, the World Food Prize, Magsaysay Award, Carnegie-Wateler World Peace Prize, International Person of Year from US and other recognitions, for his work that touched millions of lives everyday in remote areas.

How a farmers’ servant painted the nation white

Shyam Benegal relates how Verghese Kurien’s Operation Flood washed onto the silver screen. Read more

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APPL to help North-East farmers

APPL to help North-East farmers

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China is becoming the world’s largest cow buyer

As the growing demand for dairy products in China domestic market, the number of imported cow rise sharply in recent years .

Now China has become the world’s largest cows buyer, which not only promote the international market prices climbed all the way to the cow, but also made the price of related alfalfa, thoroughbred cattle, cattle semen and embryos go high price. According to the global trade information research organization investigation, China imported 100,000 cows from Australia, Uruguay and New Zealand amount to approximately $250 million in 2011.
In 2012, Uruguay will exports to nearly 36,000 heads of cattle and the average price will be more than twice of 2009.This year the number of import cows will reach 110,000 heads. However those imported cows still couldn’t meet the demand of China market. So there are still many opportunities for the foreign dairy and cow industries entering China market.

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CO-4 grass used as fodder increases milk yield considerably

In Kerala, even though 60 per cent of the milk requirement is met by procurement from other states like Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Maharashtra, cattle rearing is fast declining due to high cost of production, labour shortage and shrinking land.

Heavy dependence on other states for raw materials pushes up the cost of concentrate feeds.

“Dry straw (hay) used to feed cattle has become scarce due to decline in area under rice cultivation. It becomes a dire necessity for dairy farmers to start growing green fodder (grass) if they desire to run their unit profitably,” says Dr.S. Prabhu Kumar, Zonal Project Director, ICAR, Zonal Project Directorate, Bangalore.

Grow own fodder

And he adds that mere distribution of milch animals by the Government is of no use to farmers. Along with the animals they must be also made aware of the importance of growing their own fodder for the animals. Buying several commercial feeds available in the markets today is not profitable for a small farmer and is sure to burn a hole in their pocket, according to him.

Take the case of the Koipuram Milk society established on the banks of river Pampa nearly 20 years back by one Mr. Gopalakrishnan Nair to prevent dairy farmers from being exploited by middlemen who were not providing timely price for the milk supplied. During peak production time farmers used to get only Rs.2.40 per litre of milk while the market price was Rs. 6 per litre.

The society was initially started with 400 members and 1,500 litres of milk was sent daily to the milk marketing federation of Kerala for further processing and sales. The price was fixed by the society.

Cultivated acreage

Since 1995 the society encouraged fodder production for its members and introduced different fodder grasses like Congo Signal, Gunnie grass, Hybrid Napier like CO1, CO2 and CO3 in the area. By 2009, 150 hectares in the region were brought under different types of fodder cultivation.

“We brought four cuttings of CO4 Hybrid Napier grass from Tamil Nadu Agriculture University Coimbatore, and multiplied it in our KVK farm.

“Today our farmers are selling this fodder to several private farms in Kollam, Allapuzha, Kottayam and Idukki Districts. On an average 800-1,200 Kg of green fodder is being sold today by the farmers of this society,” says Dr. C. P. Robert, Programme Co-ordinator, CARD-KVK (Christian agency for rural development- Krishi Vigyan Kendra), Pathanamthitta district, Kerala.

CARD KVK has been in the forefront of fodder promotion in the Pathanamthitta district and has been conducting many trials to identify suitable forage varieties for the district.

Dairy farmers are given training on scientific fodder management practices as and when the need arises.

Feeding ratio

“Feeding one bundle (15Kg) of CO4 grass has been found to increase milk yield by almost 200 ml per cow. Seeing this superior growth characteristic, farmers are replanting CO4 variety today and it has almost replaced the previous CO3 variety,” says Dr.Robert. Till date several lakh cuttings of this grass have been sold to different agriculture project areas in Kerala.


Farmers are selling this fodder for Rs1.30 a kg and are able to harvest 7-8 cuttings a year (the cuttings may vary with the availability of water). Many are able to get an average yield of 270 tonnes per hectare and earn Rs. 15,000 as net profit annually.

The society also generates 300 days of employment through this activity a year, according to Dr. Robert.

For more details contact Dr. C. P. Robert, Programme Co-ordinator, CARD-Krishi Vigyan Kendra-Pathanamthitta District, Kolabhagam Post Office, Tiruvalla(Via), Pathanamthitta Dist, Kerala, email:, Phones:0469- 2662094 and 2661821, mobile:09447139300.

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1st phase of National Dairy Plan launched; aims at increased milk production

Sharad Pawar, union minister of agriculture and food processing industries, launched the first phase of the National Dairy Plan (NDP-I), a Central Sector Scheme, on Thursday, at the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) headquarters in Anand. Narendra Modi, chief minister, Gujarat, was the chief guest. The outlay of the project is estimated to be about Rs 2,242 crore.

Present on the occasion were Charan Das Mahant, minister of state for agriculture and food processing industries; Rudhra Gangadharan, secretary, department of animal husbandry, dairying and fisheries, Government of India, and Amrita Patel, chairperson, NDDB. The animal husbandry and dairying ministers and secretaries of the major milk-producing states were also present.

Speaking on the occasion, the NDDB chairperson said, “It is indeed an honour that the agriculture minister has chosen to launch the NDP from Anand, the cradle of our country’s milk revolution and (the place) where the first seeds of co-operation in dairying were sown 65 years ago.”

It is a six-year plan to be implemented in the 14 major milk producing states, namely Andhra Pradesh; Bihar; Gujarat; Haryana; Karnataka; Kerala; Madhya Pradesh; Maharashtra; Odisha; Punjab; Rajasthan; Tamil Nadu; Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. The scheme will be largely financed through the International Development Association (IDA) of the World Bank, and implemented by NDDB through end implementing agencies located in the states.

The objective of the NDP is to increase productivity of milch animals and thereby milk production to meet the rapidly growing demand for milk in the country through a scientifically planned multi-state initiative. The Plan will also provide India’s 70 million small-holder rural milk producers with greater access to the organised milk-processing sector.

The demand for milk is projected to be around 200 million tonnes in 2021-22 as against the production of 122.8 million tonne in 2010-11. It is therefore necessary to maintain an annual growth of over 4 per cent in the next 15 years.

“India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. However, we face a number of challenges. One of these is achieving inclusive growth and improving the delivery of services in our rural areas. Dairying is a major source of livelihood for millions of small milk producers. About 70 million of the (reported) 150 million rural households depend on dairying for a livelihood in varying degrees. With a low gini coefficient, dairying in India can play a major role in overcoming the challenge of achieving inclusive growth,” Patel said.

The following initiatives will be implemented:
Increasing productivity through scientific breeding & nutrition

Genetic progress over a larger population can be accelerated if breedable animals are bred using the semen of a few top high-genetic merit bulls. The proportion of milch animals bred through artificial insemination (AI) need to be raised from 20 per cent to 35 per cent over the six-year project period. NDP envisages the production of 2,500 high-genetic merit and disease-free cattle and buffalo bulls of different breeds using internationally-established practices of progeny testing and pedigree selection and the import of 400 Jersey and Holstein Friesian bulls. Various A and B-graded semen stations in the country would also be strengthened for production of about 100 million doses for use by semen stations across the country. A pilot model to demonstrate viable and sustainable AI delivery service that follows standard operating procedures will also be funded under the NDP, to reach 4 million AI deliveries per annum by the end of the plan period.

To provide high quality, disease-free semen for this initiative, it is necessary for state governments to notify bull production areas and semen stations as ‘disease control areas’ and also implement other disease containment and monitoring programmes.

In order to maximise the genetic potential of milch animals, they must be fed a balanced ration. An initiative to educate farmers on feeding their animals a balanced ration will be carried out by 40,000 local resource persons. This is expected to lead to a decrease in feed costs, thus increasing the farmer’s income. An additional benefit of ration balancing is a reduction in methane emission levels which is a significant contributor to greenhouse gases.

Strengthening village-based milk procurement systems
Steps will be taken to expand village-based procurement systems by strengthening existing co-operatives and facilitating the setting up of producer companies or new-generation co-operatives. It is expected the about 1.2 million milk producers in 23,800 additional villages will be covered. Alongside, capacity building, training and education programmes will promote technologies and improved practices at the village level.

Project management and learning 
Since the initiatives of the NDP are dispersed over various parts of the country, the programmes and their outcomes are to be integrated, tracked and monitored through ICT systems for effective decision- making.

Long-term benefits
The NDP will put in place a scientific approach and systematic process which will take the country on the path to improving the genetics of milk-producing animals and encourage the use of modern, proven technologies in milk production. In doing so, it will make much more prudent use of the country’s scarce natural resources, improve the quality of milk being marketed, and help strengthen regulatory and policy measures that will provide an enabling environment for the future growth of dairying in the country.

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Goodricke plans foray into dairy business

KOLKATA: Tea major Goodricke Group is planning to foray into dairy business and will soon seek the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) approval for it, an official said on Wednesday.

“We have licences only to grow tea and tea-related business. (For) anything that we want to diversify into, we have to take permission from the RBI,” Goodricke Group MD and CEO A.N. Singh told reporters on the sidelines of the company’s annual general meeting here.

The company, currently carrying out research and development (R&D) on a dairy project in West Bengal’s Jalpaiguri district, is likely to seek permission from the apex bank after June this year for the commercial venture.

“It has given us confidence that the hybrid cows, that give more milk, can survive in Jalpaiguri climate. We will be completing the two-year project in June…After that we will apply for the approval,” A.N. Singh informed.

He said the Kolkata-based tea maker was expecting the nod by 2012 end.

The commercial dairy venture would come up in Lakhipara, near the company’s R&D project.

“The project will be of a large scale. It will be a very multi-faced project,” A.N. Singh stated.

He said that when the project would be in its full scale of operation, commercial production of milk would be 10,000 litres per day.

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CavinKare launches UHT milk in premium space

Diversified FMCG company CavinKare has introduced ultra-high temperature (UHT) milk in innovative multi-layered pouch packing. The packaging will help CavinKare sell its product at a premium to the existing tetra-packed UHT milk available in the market and the company targets Rs 65 crore revenue from Tamil Nadu in the first year.

The company guarantees a shelf life of 120 days for its newly launched Cavin’s Pure UHT milk without refrigeration. The UHT treated and aseptically packed milk is available in four variants, including ‘Diet Milk’.

The UHT milk brands available in the market are priced at a premium of Rs 20 to Rs 30 to the pasteurised milk pouches. “With the pouch pack, we are able to provide the milk at Rs 10 lesser than the pasteurised packs. The tetra-pack costs Rs 10, while our multi-layered pouch pack costs Rs three. We have got the milk preservation technology from a company in Holland and we have developed the packaging technology ourselves. The company has made over Rs 25 crore on the research and technology and equipment,” said TD Mohan, JMD, CavinKare.

The company is procuring fresh milk from 11,000 farmers around its processing plant at Erode in Tamil Nadu. The plant has a capacity to process one lakh litres of UHT milk a day. The company currently sells 1.6 lakh litres of pasteurised milk. After Tamil Nadu, CavinKare wants to launch the milk in Kerala, where its dairy products already have a brand presence. In six to seven months, the UHT milk will be launched nationally.

Dairy business contributes to 20 per cent to total revenue of the Rs 1,070-crore company. Value added products contribute 15 per cent to the dairy business and the company wants this to go up to 30 per cent in the coming years.

Amul dominates the Rs 385 crore UHT milk market in India with 34 per cent share, Nestle with 24 per cent and Britannia 15 per cent. While modern trade contributes to 97 per cent of the UHT market, with the price advantage, CavinKare also wants to take its product to mom and pop shops and that too in the rural areas.

“We are not just looking for a share in the tetra-packed UHT milk market, but to get consumers of pasteurised pouches upgraded to UHT milk,” said C K Ranganathan, CMD, CavinKare.

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Youths find success on the ‘milky’ way

TINSUKIA, Feb 12 – It was in the year 2008 when 40 youths of Dirak Kakopathar area of Tinsukia district conceived the idea of starting a cowherd for milk production, after noticing its demand all around the district. They started a dairy farm with just two cows and formed a cooperative society in the name and style of ‘Kopahtoli Mayamora Dairy Cooperative Society’ with individual contribution of only Rs 1000 on a plot of land measuring 14 bighas situated at Dirak-Kopahtoli under Kakopathar Development Block.

After the registration of the Society, they began to seek financial assistance from the government as well as banks. In the mean time, the District Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Department came forward to their help. With continuous efforts the Society received acknowledgement from the Assam Live-stock and Poultry Development Corporation (ALPDCO) which approved their scheme of Rs 1 crore and sanctioned 30 per cent subsidy on the total scheme amount under the Chief Minister’s Employment Generation Mission (EGM). Subsequently, the State Bank of India, Tinsukia, also sanctioned 60 per cent with the contribution of the members totalling 10 per cent of the total estimate. The entrepreneurs were also provided with necessary training group-wise at various places of the State and outside.

Till date, the Society has received Rs 23 lakh from the ALPDCO and Rs 23 lakh from SBI. It has since procured 70 cross-breed cows and have been selling about 250 to 300 litres of milk everyday at the rate of Rs 31 per litre. The Society has also been growing green oats grass as fodder for the cows using 10 bighas of the allotted land.

In the mean time, the number of members of the Society has increased to 70 from 40 and nearly 70 more persons have applied for its membership.

The total amount of the scheme has also been increased to about Rs 2 crore, with the aim to produce 3000 litres per day using a mechanized method. A Bulk Milk Cooler (BMC) is also reaching the farm shortly for storing the milk in the period between milking and marketing.

A few days back, the State AH & Veterinary Minister Khorsing Engti, along with ALPDCO chairman Apurba Pator and Sadiya MLA Bolin Chetia visited the farm and interacted with the entrepreneurs. They assured the entrepreneurs of possible assistances. The team was accompanied by higher officers of the veterinary and dairy department of the State government and ALPDCO.

What had begun on a small scale has grown into a thriving unit with a promise to grow even bigger.