Milk adulteration rampant in Karimnagar district

Private operators cheat Khammam farmers and adulteration rises due to low production

KARIMNAGAR: Despite the presence of four dairies, companies which procure milk from farmers, and around 100 dairy farms, which are owned by individuals, Karimnagar district has not been witnessing adequate milk procurement as against the requirement. As a result, some dairies and owners of farms are llegedly indulging in adulteration of milk, an essential source of vitamins and proteins for humans.
The malpractice is going unhindered due to the absence of strict vigilance by the food security authorities.
At present, a total of 2.50 lakh litres of milk is being produced in the district. Karimnagar Milk Producers Company Limited (KMPCL) procures around one lakh litres of milk a day from farmers.
Mulkanur Cooperative Society, Priya and Nagarjuna Dairies account for 90,000 litres of milk. The dairy farms run by potential farmers record production of 60,000 litres of milk everyday.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) standards, every human being must consume about 180 milli litres (ML) of milk a day, to stay healthy, which means the 38-lakh population in the district need

6.84 lakh litres of milk. These figures will help one understand that there is a shortag eof around 4 lakh litres of milk a day.
Considering the huge gap between the demand and supply, some dairies and even individual farmers are reportedly involved in adulteration of milk, taking public health for granted. It is learnt that the farmers are using harmful detergents, formalin, glucose, starch powder, sodium carbonate and milk powder including animal fats as adulterants.

The presence of state-run Vijaya Dairy notwithstanding, much of the milk market is in the grip of middlemen and private dairies in Nizamabad district.
The Vijaya Dairy has been collecting around 50 per cent of milk from farmers but had failed to sell milk in the same proportion in Nizamabad district. The women members of self-help groups (SHGs) play a vital role in procuring milk for the state-run Vijaya Dairy. According to marketing sources, middlemen and private dairies account to 70 per cent of the milk market.
There are around 12 brands of milk available in the market including Reliance and Heritage companies. Nizamabad-based Deccan Star supplies milk both in Nizamabad and parts of Adilabad district.

Telangana State Dairy Development Corporation, Nizamabad unit, general manager R. Ramesh said they were collecting 50 per cent milk from farmers but that a majority of it is transported to Hyderabad. “Compared to private dairies, our market is restricted to only 30 per cent in Nizamabad district,” he said, adding that they were forced to provide quality milk at lower prices to the people.
Private dairies offer more incentives to middlemen and sales personnel to boost their business, he said.
Private dairies give priority to good marketing strategies like putting up hoardings, wall paintings in interior areas of the district. Moreover, super markets and provisional stores in residential colonies prefer to stock milk packets supplied by private companies.
Allegedly, a few milk companies are violating the norms by failing to print the manufacturing and expiry dates on the packets.
The private companies, it is learnt, are also resorting to adulteration of milk. To get more milk from the animals, farmers inject oxytocin on a daily basis. At the district-level, there is no mechanism to trace the quantity of adulteration.
Speaking to this newspaper, Deccan Star company founder-director Samson said there was a tough competition in the market.
In the entire Telangana state, Nizamabad and Adilabad districts have been facing acute shortage of milk.

There is a huge gap between milk production and demand in Adilabad district so much so that packaged milk has entered the scene in rural areas.
Though known as the district of forests, the increasing deforestation and skyrocketing prices of fodder had led to a drop in the number of milch animals in the district. There is a sharp decline in the number of milch animals even in the rural hinterland, giving a scope for adulteration of milk to meet the increasing demand. The increasing adulteration has led to people preferring packaged milk to loose milk supplied by milk producers on a monthly basis, even in rural areas.
Meanwhile, in some villages, milk production is just being sufficient to meet the consumption in the place, giving no scope for supplying to outsiders.
In the past, women used to carry milk and curd in pots on their heads and sell it in the villages. Now, it is just packed milk that is supplied to people in many villages. Significantly, milk selling centres are also found putting up ‘no stock’ boards after 4 p.m. which means there is a shortage for packed milk in the market, even after the entry of various private dairies into the market, in addition to the government and cooperative societies.
Lcak of adequate facilities to store milk like chilling centres is one major reason for the dwindling milk production in the district. Many of the dairy farmers had reportedly sold their animals to butchers as they could not feed them due to non-availability of fodder in the district. According to the National Animal Census, 2013, there were 1,09,175 cows and 6, 95,110 buffaloes in the district. “There is a drastic fall in the number of milch animals when compared to that 10 years ago,” an official of animal husbandry department said.

District in-charge Joint Director of Animal Husbandry Ramarao Rathod said there was 15 per cent fall in the number of milch animals in the district, compared to the last 10 years. Last year, of the 1,000 milk units set as target, only 640 milk units were grounded.
‘They had grounded only 640 milk units out of targeted 1,000 last year in the district as farmers had not shown interest in the unit and bankers did not come forward to give loans to milk units, Ramarao said and observed that one cannot get milk and chai in many villages in Narnoor, Kerameri and Tiryani and many other mandals due to no milch animals there in the district’.

The farmers, who have been selling their milk to private dairies, have allegedly been losing Rs 2 crore every month due to fraudulent means adopted in assessing the fat content in milk by private operators.
The farmers who do not have proper understanding of the technique are losing money.
The private operators have been procuring 1.75 lakh litres of milk a day against the state-run Vijaya Dairy which is collecting 5,000 litres in the district.
The milk procurement by the government cooperative dairy was nearly 1 lakh litres, 8 years ago. The state-run dairy was reduced to insiginificance by private operators, whose number had gone up to 20 in the district. The private companies have been luring the collection agents and placing faulty lactometers. Though the private operators offer more price to farmers, the peasants are losing in connection with fat content in milk.
V. Prameela, a cooperative milk procurement agent, said the deceiving techniques adopted by private operators should be curbed for the good of farmers. She said the government should give Rs 4 per litre as subsidy like Karnataka to promote cooperative dairy in Telangana.

( Source : dc )
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