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Amul plans innovative programmes to make dairy industry 'contemporarily cool' for youth: Sodhi
Amul is launching innovative programmes like the "cow to consumer" to make the dairy sector "contemporarily cool" and commercially viable for today's youth who are moving to cities and reluctant to join the milk industry, the dairy giant's Managing Director Rupinder Singh Sodhi has said.
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In 1970, per capita of milk consumption in India was 111 gm and today it is 350 gm, it is growing at the rate of 2 per cent per annum. The demand for milk by 2050 would touch 540 million litres and to meet India's demand in the coming years there is a need to make the dairy industry commercially viable for India's youth, said Sodhi.
"By 2050, 50 per cent of India would be urbanised, which means that we would have more mouths to feed and less hands to produce. In case of shortage of milk, we would become dependent on milk from edible oil and pulses," Sodhi told PTI.
What is required is how to make dairy "contemporarily cool" and "commercially viable" business for todays youth who are drifting to cities and reluctant to join the dairy industry, he said on the sidelines of the International conference on South-South and Triangular Cooperation here.
"We are trying mordernise dairy farming using milking machines instead of hand milking, we are also using bulk milk coolers, modern sheds, modern watering system etc. The idea behind propagating a commercial dairy farm is to attract today's youth," 57-year-old Sodhi said.
Listing, the programmes introduced by the company to modernise dairy farming, Sodhi said the biggest innovation that Amul is bringing in Indias dairy industry is through 'Cow to Consumer'.
Under the 'Cow to Consumer' programme, Amul creates a digital account for a farmer. When a farmer goes to deposit milk at a collection centre, the quality and quantity of milk is assessed and updated on the card that comes with the account. Based on the quantity and quality, money is transferred to the account of the farmer immediately which could be accessed by him through a mobile app, he said.
"We have opened more than 26 lakh such digital accounts for farmers in the last few months and 40 to 45 per cent farmers have been covered under the scheme," he said.
One of the main reasons for introducing such schemes was to make the dairy industry attractive for the tech-savvy youth, he added.
Another programme aimed at attracting youth is dairy entrepreneurship scheme under which youth can go for a farm size of 20-30 cows and buffaloes and it would be easily financed by the banks with Amul marketing for it.
"One would earn Rs 40,000 per month through commercial dairy farming which in many cases is more than the amount you would earn in urban India," he said.
Calling India a country of small holder farmers, he said the youth of the country needs to realise that animal husbandry is a very attractive business at this time when the land is shrinking and population is increasing.
"We need to be able to increase milk productivity on reduced number of farms with the shrinking of land, then only we will be able to meet Indias increasing demands and the country's youth has an very important role to play in taking the dairy industry of the country forward," he added.