NIRGOSH GAUDE | NT
Although the Goa Dairy has started brooking no government interference in its functioning, the dairy has flourished all these years because the government has continuously supported dairy farmers through incentives and subsidies.
The Registrar of Co-operative Societies order dissolving the board of directors and seeking the suspension of the managing director over the alleged irregularities in the dairy has been looked upon as meddling.
However, sources said the government spends around Rs 9 lakh per day as incentives to dairy farmers, who are associated with the societies linked with the Goa Dairy.
Besides, the government provides subsidies worth crores of rupees under various schemes to promote cattle farming and dairy business.
Following the order of Registrar of Co-operative Societies Sanjiv Gadkar on August 31, some former board members of the Goa Dairy disapproved the alleged government interference in the functioning, claiming that the Goa Diary is an autonomous organisation.
Now the sustainability of the Goa Dairy could be bleak, as there is a question mark on the continuation of subsidies and incentives.
The directorate of animal husbandry has disbursed around Rs 33.43 crore for the year 2017-18 as incentives for dairy farmers and around Rs 30.44 crore for the year 2016-17.
The disbursement comes to an average of around Rs 9 lakh per day incentives for the dairy farmers.
Every year, around 8500 farmers avail the incentives provided by the animal husbandry directorate. Most of these farmers are linked with the Goa Dairy and only around 5 per cent of them are associated with the SUMUL Dairy.
Officials of the animal husbandry department said the composite subsidy of 40 per cent – incentive on milk stands at 32.28 per cent while cattle feed dole stands at 7.72 per cent – is given for the milk supplied to the notified dairy co-operative society.
It means every dairy farmer registered with a dairy co-operative society gets a subsidy of Rs 8 to Rs 12 per litre of milk, as farmers are provided 40 per cent of the prices they get from the dairy.
Besides the milk incentive scheme, the government has Kamdhenu scheme (Sudharit) and Pashupalan scheme. The two major schemes provide subsidy to farmers for purchasing new cows and also for rearing calves.
Under the Kamdhenu scheme, farmers get around 70 per cent to 90 per cent subsidy to purchase new cows.
To take care of calves, farmers get around Rs 40,000 to 52,000 per calf.
The animal husbandry department also has several other schemes to promote dairy farming – green fodder scheme; schemes for cattle feed subsidy and renovation of cattle shed; livestock insurance scheme and dairy kits scheme. It should be noted here that the department provides veterinary services to the cattle of the 80 to 90 per cent of the dairy farmers in the state, which are provided at nominal fees.