GOA STATE CO-OPERATIVE MILK PRODUCERS’ UNION LIMITED
CURTI – PONDA
GOA also known as ‘Gomanchal’ – the name itself suggests it’s a land of cows. Cow rearing and agriculture was the predominant profession in Goa. Inferences to this fact can be found in historical studies as well other folk literature. However, till liberation of Goa in 1961 there were no efforts made to any form of systematic development of Animal Husbandry or Dairy Industry.
Post liberation, an independent Directorate was established to look after Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services, thus heralding the progressive out look in the field. Govt. introduced some schemes for increasing milk production, such as improvement of local buffalo breed by introducing Surti bulls. The subsequent cross breeding programme, taken on large scale at Union territory level (Goa was a Union Territory then. Statehood was conferred in 1961), had an impact on milk production in Goa. Efforts to further increase in milk production were done in late seventies. Cross breeding as well as procuring milch animals from the neighboring States led to increase in milk production and steady growth of milk production in Goa, thus creating a positive impact.
In order to meet the local demand of good quality milk Government started a dairy unit in 1967 and was procuring about 1000 LPD. A milk pasteurization plant was established at Panjim. The visionary leader and the first Chief Minister of Goa late Dayanand Bandodkar, a good friend of Dr. Kurien (the father of Operation Flood) requested Dr. Kurien to set up a Dairy Plant suitable for Goa. Dr Kurien gave Goa 1000 LPD plant. Later, when the milk production increased, the government with the help of NDDB established a Dairy Plant at Curti Ponda Goa in 1971. The capacity of the plant was of 10,000 LPD. Government collected milk from the Societies and individuals, which, however, fell short of the demand. Hence, milk had to be procured from the neighboring States – Government was procuring and processing about 6,000 to 8,000 LPD milk at Ponda.
CO – OPERATIVE MOVEMENT IN DAIRY AND ITS EFFECTS
In 1972 a State level Federation of Societies was established, but it did not meet the aspirations due to many reasons. The main activity of the Federation was collection of milk from remote areas and supply of Cattle feed to the producers. The activities of the Dairy were in a phased manner handed over to the Goa State Co-op. Milk Producers’ Union Ltd., and that marked the real beginning of Dairy activity in Goa. The finance provided by NDDB as soft loan under perspective plan, contributed to the greatly to the success – farmers were benefited by getting better price and consumers by getting regular supply of good milk. This support ensured the progress of the Milk Union and put the Union on a sound footing.
The emergence of the Tourism Industry posed a challenge to the dairy farming, with people giving up dairy farming, as it provided white collar employment. Tourism contributes to pollution but it is also creates demand for dairy products. In this the dairy have a major role to play – with increased awareness of the deterioration of environment, dairy can create employment and entrepreneur opportunities which will not only balance the ecology and benefit the environment but also make the State of Goa financially sound. It is an accepted fact that Agriculture and Animal Husbandry activities play a major role in protecting environment and controlling the pollution.
In order to achieve this a coordinated and concerted effort from all the stakeholders is a must – Producers, Societies and Milk Union and other concerned agencies should co-ordinate and put their best efforts to make the State of Goa self sufficient in Milk production. Government schemes like Kamdhenu for the purchase of milch animals have to be popularized to enable beneficiaries to take up dairy farming.