The Goa Dairy has been given a grant of Rs 16.41 crore by the central government under the National Programme for Dairy Development to improve its performance. The Goa Dairy suffered a loss of Rs 4.5 crore last year. It is the first time the Goa Dairy has received assistance from the Centre. The state’s oldest dairy has already received the first instalment of Rs 7.91 crore. Let us hope the central assistance is used to by the management of Goa Dairy to come out of the red. The funding might not help it recover all the losses it has suffered over the years but if used properly it can help it expand its business, restructure its management, and cut down on costs. It could introduce new technologies to rationalise the workforce and its operations.
Despite existence of a huge market in milk and milk products in the state, the Goa Dairy has not been able to take advantage of the growing needs, demands and tastes of the people. According to official data, Goa’s milk production stands at 1.61 lakh litres daily. The Goa Dairy procures less than half of the total milk produced in the state which is around 70,000 litres of milk daily from local farmers. It imports nearly 20,000 litres from neighbouring states. It processes and supplies the 90,000 litres of milk daily through 1,200 outlets, which falls considerably short of meeting the daily total demand in the state of over 3.5 lakh litres per day. The entry of SUMUL, a subsidiary of AMUL, in the milk market of the state has adversely affected Goa Dairy as some of the farmers have chosen to supply their produce to SUMUL. The competition between the Goa Dairy and SUMUL has come as a blessing in disguise to the farmers who can choose between the two to supply their milk according to who has the best terms and services to offer. The entry of SUMUL forced Goa Dairy management to increase milk procurement rate by Rs 3, by which farmers profited but its cost of production increased. The increase in procurement rate helped the Goa dairy to get back the farmers who had shifted their loyalty or were threatening to shift.
The Goa Dairy management plans to utilize the funds from the Centre to help dairy farmers adopt new technologies in cattle farming to enhance milk yield. The new initiatives proposed include supply of bulk milk cooler for each society linked with the dairy, computer systems with milk weighing scale and assistance in data processing for milk collection units. Along with technologies the farmers would also have to increase the number of milch animals and bring in high milk yielding ones. Though there are several government-sponsored schemes aimed at spreading the white revolution in the state they have not yielded the desired results. With the demand for milk likely to increase in the years ahead, the government has to come out with more attractive schemes, which should be taken to dairy farmers. These new initiatives could help in many ways but they are dependent on the management’s success in enabling farmers to adopt new technologies to derive the best results for milk production.
The Goa Dairy must use the grant of Rs 16.41 crore under the National Programme for Dairy Development with prudence to expand its supply base. It has a dedicated clientele despite its products being a little costlier as compared to other producers. There is growing demand for milk and milk products in the state. The Goa Dairy should increase its output by encouraging and incentivizing farmers to produce more milk. Procuring higher amount of milk could help the dairy in diversifying its milk products, which are in growing demand and which could fetch higher earnings. The entry of SUMUL and some other dairies from the neighbouring states should be taken by the Goa Dairy as a challenge. The management should stop complaining and concentrate on devising strategies to beat the competition. It is the fittest that survive in a competitive market; so the Goa Dairy has to reinvent itself to fight the competition and retain its position as preferred supplier of milk and milk products to Goans. Increasing its capacity and developing more milk-based products and constant improvement in the quality and innovative features of its products will help it retaining its clientele and adding to the number. The state and central governments should provide the state’s largest dairy entity all assistance, but ultimately it is the Goa Dairy management that has to lead with innovation and integrity to make it the undisputed market leader.