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Call to enhance quality of dairy products

By Our Staff Reporter

THRISSUR, MARCH 16. Several experts, including the State Planning Board vice-chairman, V. Ramachandran, and the Regional Director of the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), N.V. Belavadi from Bangalore, have emphasised the need to enhance the quality of dairy products by using modern technology and management systems.

They were here to participate in a national symposium on `Emerging trends in dairy processing systems and its impact on quality attainment,' organised by the Kerala Chapter of Indian Diary Association (IDA) and the College of Diary Science and Technology of the Kerala Agricultural University (KAU).

Inaugurating the symposium, Mr. Ramachandran said even though India was the leading producer of milk, Indian milk products were yet to get a foothold in the international markets due to uncertainties in quality. Emphasising that the Food Safety Bill, now under consideration of Parliament, was a comprehensive one covering almost all consumable articles right from water, Mr. Ramachandran said as food articles, diary products would come under closer scrutiny when the Bill becomes an Act. Pointing out that a huge quantity of dairy products were being damaged during transport, he said appropriate technologies should be employed to reduce wastage in the diary industry.

Holistic approach

Mr. Belavadi, in his presidential address, emphasised the need for a holistic approach to quality improvement and food safety in the dairy sector by adopting innovative technology and management concepts covering the entire chain from `cow to consumer'. Adoption of appropriate technology in the field of animal husbandry right from breeding, nutrition and feeding to village-level milk collection systems would collectively lead to increased productivity and attainment of quality. He said it was high time that the dairy industry found alternative eco-friendly and cost-effective packaging systems considering the environmental damage that the present plastic films created. Also, adoption of energy management systems, water conservation measures and rainwater harvesting systems were assuming great importance as part of the environment protection process.

The Vice-Chancellor of KAU, K.V. Peter, said the annual milk production in the country was 88.1 million tonnes in 2004 while it was only 21.2 million tonnes in 1968. The annual growth in milk production was now 3.8 per cent and this was higher than the annual growth rate of two per cent in population. The country now produces milk and milk products worth Rs. 950 billion. The per capita availability of milk in the country was 231 gm per day now while the figure was only 112 gm per day in 1968-69.

The Vice-Chancellor said India could develop its dairy sector only if it focussed on export.

The Director (Research) of KAU, C.K. Peethambaran, the member of the KAU Executive Committee, K.P. Mukundan, and the chairman of the IDA Kerala Chapter, V. Prasad, were among those who spoke on the occasion.

Several experts are presenting papers at the two-day symposium.

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