Modern dairy practices & enhanced participation of women in dairying to bolster Andhra Pradesh’s milk production significantly: Additional Secretary, DAHD, Govt of India



  • Shreeja & Balaji Dairy of Mother Dairy stand as a testament to the commitment to dairy farmers in Anantapur & Chittoor: Chairman NDDB


Tirupati: Ms Varsha Joshi, Additional Secretary, Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying (DAHD), Govt of India stated that the adoption of modern dairy practices, along with increased participation of women in dairying, will significantly enhance Andhra Pradesh’s milk production. She made these remarks at Tirupati on 3rd July 2024 while addressing the 10th anniversary celebrations of Shreeja Mahila Milk Producer Organisation – world’s largest women-owned milk producer organisation, with a member base of over 1.20 lakh.  The organisation procures 8 lakh litres of milk per day.


Ms Joshi said that Andhra Pradesh has made noteworthy progress in milk production in recent years, with organisations like Shreeja playing a major role. The state currently ranks 5th in the country in terms of milk production and should aim to become one of the top 3 producers. As we gather here to celebrate Shreeja’s 10th anniversary, there is no doubt about the milestone achieved, no matter how challenging it may have been. According to data from the Department of Animal Husbandry, milk production in Andhra Pradesh has increased by 60% from 96.56 lakh tonnes in 2014-15 to 1.54 crore tonnes in 2022-23.


Addressing a large gathering of women-dairy farmers, Dr. Meenesh Shah, Chairman, National Dairy Development Board and NDDB Dairy Services complimented the farmers on completing ten years and achieving numerous milestones along the way.


Dr Shah stated that Shreeja started operations in the milkshed area of the erstwhile Chittoor District Cooperative Milk Producers Union Ltd and has since expanded to twelve districts, including neighboring states.


It is worth noting that during the mid-1990s the Chittoor District Cooperative Milk Producers Union Ltd was procuring around 3 lakh litres of milk. However, it eventually reached a point where losses mounted, milk procurement dropped to 65,000 litres per day and milk payments to farmer members became unsustainable. The Board of Chittoor Cooperative Milk Union and its general body passed a resolution to handover Balaji Dairy Tirupati (then a Unit of Chittoor Milk Union) to NDDB with a mandate to make operations viable and serve milk producers.


After the Chittoor Milk Union went into liquidation in September 2002, the Govt of Andhra Pradesh transferred the assets of Balaji Dairy Plant to NDDB for a principal due of Rs 16.81 crore plus other interest dues. NDDB, as a developmental financial institution, has set up subsidiary companies to handle commercial operations. Since Balaji Dairy was a commercial venture, the plant was subsequently handed over to Mother Dairy Fruit & Vegetable Private Limited in 2008. Currently, Mother Dairy operates the plant by procuring milk from the Shreeja Milk Producer Organisation, which was established in July 2014 as a fully women-owned and operated Milk Producer Organization. The formation of Shreeja Milk Producer Organisation was facilitated by NDDB through its subsidiary NDDB Dairy Services.


Currently, Shreeja is serving milk producers in Chittoor, Anantapur and adjoining areas bordering Tamil Nadu & Karnataka. Shreeja procures about 8 Lakh liters per day. Staying committed to the dairy farmers of the region, Mother Dairy procures around 7 lakh litres per day of milk from Shreeja MPO. Out of this, about 4.8 LKgPD is sent to Balaji Dairy and 2.3 LKgPD is sent for conversion in Salem. Balaji Dairy manufactures several products including poly pack milk, curd, butter milk, lassi, misti dahi, paneer, ghee etc. From Balaji Dairy 3.3 lakh litres equivalent milk is also sent to Delhi and 25,000 litres to Hyderabad, in addition to the commodities converted in Salem and sent to Delhi.


Later in the day, Chairman, NDDB also interacted with the members and the board of directors of Shreeja.


In 2023, Shreeja was honoured with the global award for ‘Innovation in Women’s Empowerment in the Dairy Sector’ at the World Dairy Summit held in Chicago last October. This recognition highlights India’s efforts in empowering women in the dairy industry.