Sarhad Dairy to set up fruit processing plant in Gujarat at Rs 50 crore
Sarhad Dairy, with a view to incorporating Kutch farmers into cooperative dairy network, is planning to set up a fruit processing plant in Gujarat at a cost of Rs 50 crore.
Valamji Humbal, chairman, Sarhad Dairy, who is also the VC of Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd (GCMMF), the dairy federation known for the brand Amul, said, “The farmers in the area grow horticulture crops like pomegranates, dates and mango. The absence of market linkages and a local value addition chain has badly affected their farming. Therefore, at the annual general meeting of Sarhad Dairy, the board of directors of the dairy, have decided, in principle, to set up a fruit processing plant in Kutch. Our estimate is that such a plant for extracting juices, preparing frozen and dehydrated fruit products will cost around Rs 50 crore.”
Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Parsottam Rupala; Minister of State for Tourism and Welfare of Socially and Educationally Backward Classes Vasan Ahir; and GCMMF MD R S Sodhi were also present at the dairy’s AGM in Anjar.
The dairy chairman revealed that they were in consultation with various stakeholders for setting up the plant. “We have been consulting with marketing and technology experts as well as officers of GCMMF for setting up this plant. We are of the belief that such a plant is economically viable and will be in the long run improving farmers. We have land at Chandrani village in Anjar taluka of Kutch for such a plant,” said Humbal.
“But another view is that since processed fruit products of Kutch have the potential of finding an overseas market, such a plant should be set up in Mundra so that port connectivity becomes easy. While Sarhad Dairy will manufacture products, GCMMF will market them,” he added.
Kutch District Cooperative Milk Producers Union Limited, popularly called Sarhad Dairy, was established in 2009 and is one of the member unions of GCMMF. Today, it has more than 650 village-level cooperative societies through which it procures around four lakh litre milk per day. It is the only dairy union of the state which procures and sells camel milk. In recent years, after the discovery of groundwater, the semi-arid district has emerged as a major belt of horticulture crops.
While explaining the proposal, Humbal said, “The Centre has allotted Rs 24 crore for the milk processing plant under its Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana and the GCMMF is to give Rs 20 crore grant towards loan interest subvention. Our plan is to relocate our existing milk processing plant in Lakhond to Chandrani later so that revenue expenditure occurring on account of staff, etc can be reduced.”
In addition to these, work was in progress for setting up a second milk processing plant at Chandrani village. This plant is likely to cost us around Rs 100 crore. It will have the capacity to process two lakh litre milk per day and can be expanded to four lakh litre per day. Work order has already been issued for its civil work while tenders for machinery and equipment are scheduled to be opened.
Source : fnbnews