K S Mani
The White Revolution in India, regarded as one of the largest dairy movements, attracted worldwide attention. Anand in Gujarat
is the spearhead of this largest dairy development program. The revolution which was initiated in Anand spread all across India,
thus our country was honored to be the largest milk producer in the world. Dr. Varghese Kurian is the esteemed architect of
India’s White Revolution.
Dr. Kurian, who completed his Master's degree in Engineering in the United States in 1943 was assigned by Tribhuvandas Patel to help the economically backward dairy farmers of Gujarat, who were exploited by the private traders. For this, he chose a three-tier cooperative system run by the farmers for the farmers. Thus, the dairy farmers were mobilized under their own brand names and they could directly experience all the potentials in the market. When this system was established in Kerala in the 1980s, only the regions of Thiruvananthapuram and Ernakulam were selected for the purpose. Malabar was not then considered as a suitable place for dairy farming, but later in 1990, the Malabar Regional Union was founded and today, half of Kerala's total milk production is contributed by the Malabar Region.
Milma is the Brand name of the dairy farmers' enterprise in the cooperative sector in Kerala. Bulk Milk Coolers were being installed at village
levels with Financial Assistance of State and Central Governments to ensure quality of milk at the primary production level. In Malabar milk Union,
100 percent of the milk received at Dairy level is in Chilled Raw Milk. It is being processed in Dairy Plants and distributed in the market as Sachet
Milk and other Milk Products. Our development model is based on the accurate planning of investments required for the Procurement, Processing and
Marketing of Milk and Dairy Products along with investments required for Dairy Development with proper long-term vision and to attract the funds
needed from its own business profits, Central and State Governments and other Stakeholders like the Swiss Development Agency. Our organization is now
in a position to transfer 83 percent of the money collected from consumers, to the farmers as Basic Milk Price, Profit Margins and various dairy farmer
welfare schemes through a transparent, honest and modern work culture.
Milma is committed to the payment of the milk value to Dairy Farmers in a time bound manner, which plays a very important role in the agricultural sector. 83% of the selling price of milk is directly passed on to the farmers and they are given the profits through incentives and various farmer welfare schemes.
Unlike other private institutions, Milma is governed by a Board of Directors, which is elected by the farmers themselves through voting rights.
Therefore, they are able to make better decisions for the welfare of the farmers. We should also understand the fact that instead of the profit
being confined to one or two individuals, it is returned to every farmer who pours the milk, in the Dairy Cooperative Societies affiliated to Milma.
We have adopted most advanced technologies including software-based data collection and related activities in milk Procurement and Processing. Moreover,
we have employees capable of completing such activities efficiently and in a timely manner. While selecting such people, their competence and technical
skills are evaluated and employed legally and their proficiency is assessed at regular intervals.
Milma has appointed many people to various levels in the last few years. The newly hired new generation has been very beneficial in bringing the most innovative ideas to Milma and implementing them in a timely manner.
Today there are thousands of people in Kerala who work directly and indirectly with this sector in Milma. Milma plays an important role in creating employment opportunities in the Dairy sector and about 10 times as many people are indirectly employed in other related operations as compared to those directly employed by Milma.
Financial assistance from the Central and State governments are there for setting up State-of-the-art Technology, new Dairy Plants and advanced laboratories through
time bound submission of Projects as per the guidelines to the Central as well as State Governments with proper implementation and record keeping.
Employee Welfare Schemes are being implemented in the organization to maintain employee performance and morale in work and other welfare activities. Such schemes are organized in such a way that people benefit financially and otherwise.
Malabar Milma has an accredited training partnership with the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) under the Food Safety Supervisor Training and Certification (FoSTaC) scheme to train food safety supervisors required for a statutory food processing plant.
Also, through the implementation of ASAP (Additional Skill Acquisition Programme), which is a vocational skill development curriculum for children at the +1, +2 and degree level, which is jointly implemented by the Department of Public Education and the Department of Higher Education in Kerala, Malabar Milma has been identified as the approved Training Partner of Agriculture Skill Council of India (ASCI). Both the programs are efficiently implemented by Certified Trainers from Milma.
As a significant industry in the Food Processing Sector, we follow a lot of eco-friendly practices. Waste Treatment and Energy Conservation are given great importance. Milma has received several awards from the State Pollution Control Board for commendable performance and was also awarded by the State Government for its energy conservation techniques.
Our organization has risen to the ranks of leading cooperative movements implementing innovative ideas in the field of cooperation. As a part of it, Malabar Milma also received an award from the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) in 2018 for best performance.
Due to the above-mentioned diversification and creative activities, this movement has been able to provide timely milk prices by procuring the entire milk produced by the Dairy Farmers in the state when all sectors of the society had come to a standstill due to COVID 19 pandemic that had spread throughout the world.
Milma has been devising and implementing various schemes aiming at the upliftment and betterment of the dairy farmers who depend on this movement for survival and their livelihood. In addition to imparting knowledge to dairy farmers regarding the scientific feeding system to reduce the cost of milk production, low-cost feed materials, construction of houses for homeless dairy farmers, financial assistance to the diabetic children of dairy farmers, financial assistance for education and marriage of daughters of dairy farmers etc. various farmer welfare schemes, are being implemented including an investment scheme known as Ksheera Sukanya.
Besides this, in order to increase the marketing of milk and milk products, other plans are also being considered to strengthen the network of marketing points across the state in collaboration with various agencies such as Kudumbashree and local self-government bodies.
The significance of this co-operative movement in the Dairy sector of Kerala is that, we are able to keep our Dairy farmers satisfied in this field by providing a stable market price for milk by launching various products in the market according to the needs of the consumers.
K S Mani