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MoFPI’s Badal inaugurates modern dairy unit at Bathinda’s Verka Dairy
Thursday, 29 December, 2016, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Our Bureau, New Delhi
Harsimrat Kaur Badal, minister for food processing, inaugurated the modern dairy and ice cream unit at the Verka Bathinda Dairy, whose foundation stone was laid in April. The project is now operational within the stipulated time.

She congratulated the dairy brand, which has a large consumer base, on the successful completion of the project. She also appreciated its role in supplementing the incomes of farmers.

The new plant would mainly cater to the ice cream demand of consumers in the region. Verka Bathinda Dairy had an initial capacity of one lakh litre per day, which is being augmented to two lakh litres per day.

Amarjeet Singh Sidhu, chairman, Verka, said, “We are elated about the inauguration of the new unit. The project is worth Rs 32 crore. Of this, Rs 22 crore have been spent on this fully-automated unit.”

“The balance has been spent on village-level infrastructure for procuring milk from the farmers in Bathinda and Mansa districts, so that the quality of milk is maintained in the entire supply chain,” he added.

“This has resulted in enhanced milk procurement of 25 per cent this year over last year. The project would help in value addition of milk, which will help the Punjab State Cooperative Milk Producers’ Federation (Milkfed) pay the farmers more,” Sidhu stated.

He added that unit would also open employment avenues for the youth of the region.

“Bathinda has seen tremendous growth in recent years, as Punjab is scripting new developmental history, and Verka feels proud to be a part of this change,” Sidhu said.

Verka is the flagship brand of Milkfed. The set-up of the organisation is a three-tier system, comprising milk producers’ cooperative societies at the village level, milk unions at the district level and the federation as an apex body at the state level.

Currently, Verka has been around 7,000 village milk producers’ cooperative societies, with over 3,80,000 members.

These village-level cooperatives work under eleven district milk producers’ unions with ten milk plants having a consolidated milk handling capacity of around 18,00,000 litres per day.

To ensure high-quality products, Verka has put up auto-milk collection centres, wherein the milk producers will get the results of milk testing on the spot.

Bulk milk cooling centres have also been installed in cooperative societies to maintain the goodness of milk.
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