New Delhi: Liquid milk sales against procurement has declined by 8.8 per cent during almost a month period after March 16 amid the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) said on Saturday.
According to NDDB, the ratio of liquid milk procurement to sales have declined 8.8 per cent during March 16-April 12 as compared to the first fortnight of March, i.e. March 1-15, 2020 due to COVID-19 crisis.
“Although the dairy cooperatives/milk producing companies and milk producers are facing difficult times, we are sure that our institutions are resilient enough to overcome this crisis,” said Dilip Rath, Chairman, NDDB in a statement. “Post COVID-19, we will definitely evolve stronger,” he added.
Rath applauded the efforts made by all individuals involved in the dairy value chain ensuring that millions of rural milk producers get incomes to meet their basic needs while consumers get milk and milk products to meet their nutritional requirements.
He said: “When the entire nation is under lockdown, the dairy sector did not cease to work.”
Rath said that producer-owned institutions faced several challenges – some of them being- increase in milk procurement from farmers as private/unorganised players have stopped/reduced procurement, reduction in consumer demand due to lack of accessibility, closure of sweet shops, restaurants, tea stalls, school milk programme etc., non-availability of required manpower for processing, restrictions in interstate transportation, hindrances in the supply of raw materials etc.
He suggested ways for minimising the gap between milk procured and milk sale.
“All of us need to think of penetrating the rural markets and entering E-Commerce business portals with some innovative ideas. Some milk federations have arranged tie-up of its distributors with different E-Retailers for seamless delivery of milk and milk products to consumers,” said the NDDB chief.