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Good News : Mother Dairy to invest Rs75 crore in Vid-Marathwada

Good News : Mother Dairy to invest Rs75 crore in Vid-Marathwada

Nagpur: After taking over the state government-run milk scheme plant in the city, Mother Dairy would be investing Rs75 crore in setting up milk procurement infrastructure throughout Vidarbha and Marathwada regions. A wholly owned subsidiary of National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), Mother Dairy Fruit and Vegetable Private Limited will be operating in 11 districts chosen from the two regions. Earlier the government milk scheme used to make the Aarey brand of products here. Mother Dairy is a prominent brand in Delhi and other northern areas.

The Nagpur facility, spread in an area of 27 acres at Seminary Hills, was formally inaugurated by the Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Sunday. Union minister for surface transport Nitin Gadkari and agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh were also present. Taken over in 2014, Mother Dairy's operations at the plant had begun over two months ago. The formal inauguration comes at a time when farmers' strike, which was marked with scenes of milk being poured on streets, has not entirely ended.

"The funds will be spent in setting up procurement infrastructure at the village level. NDDB will be promoting formation of milk producers' companies at the villages too," S Nagarajan, the managing director of Mother Dairy told TOI. He was present for the inaugural function. As against producers' cooperatives under the Amul pattern of Gujarat, Mother Dairy backs companies. However, in Vidarbha it will happen after the procurement reaches a sizeable level. Till then, direct buying will continue.

"After attaining a level, the procurement infrastructure, in which NDDB has invested, will be passed on to the producers' companies at a cost. Though the processing plant will remain with Mother Dairy. The idea is to create an environment under which both Mother Dairy and the producers company will have to depend on each other for existence," said Nagarajan.

For Mother Dairy, the Nagpur plant holds a key position on account of its plans to expand in east and western parts of the country. The brand, at present, has a strong presence in the northern states like Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab. It's the first milk procurement plant in the east-west belt, said Nagarajan.

The plan is to take up the prourment to nearly 80,000 litres by October. The plant has a capacity to process over 40,000 litres. There are plans to add up another unit to make with curds within a couple of months, he said. Apart from the Rs75 crore for the procurement infrastructure, Mother Dairy has pumped in Rs8 crore in the plant infrastructure. Another Rs3 crore will be added for a curds' plant, said Nagarajan. Mother Dairy will also be setting up a plant at Bhiwandi near Mumbai where it will be investing Rs140 crore.

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