Economy Growth In Rural Sikkim During Pandemic; boost in dairy farming

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Gangtok: The new generation is drawn towards dairy farming in Sikkim, with the near-collapse in other forms of livelihood, good prices, an extra government incentive, and exemption from lockdown restrictions.

 Around Rs. 5-6 crore as of revenue are going to the villages of Sikkim every month via dairy farming suggested from the rough estimation of the stakeholders which plays a major role in sustaining the economy of rural Sikkim as other forms of livelihood remain crippled due to pandemic. 

Sikkim Cooperative Milk Producers Union (Sikkim Milk Union) has a prominent role in upscaling of the local dairy farming sector in the past several years while other sectors declined.

Sikkim Milk Union managing director Dr. A.B. Karki shares that the pandemic lockdown of 2020 turned into a grabbing opportunity for dairy farmers. The Sikkim Government supported the dairy farmers by exempting milk services from the Coronavirus lockdown as an essential commodity. And an incentive of Rs 8 per liter was provided to them. 

“With the onset of covid in 2020, people were unaware, yet Sikkim Milk Union didn’t face any such consumer issues in Bazar.

However, a certain fear rose in rural areas due to covid -19 that it may spread out from the urban areas, hence they want to avoid the selling of milk. 

 Despite being in the fresh lockdown, villagers no longer fear and aims in producing maximum milk and adding more cows to their shed.

Since no other sustainable economic activities are in the villages, they want to sell more” said Dr. Karki.

 The daily milk procurement figure of Sikkim Milk Union is around 54,000 liters from the 413 collection centers across the State. Daily intake, 44,000 liters of milk are sold in the markets while the remaining milk quantity is processed into other dairy products. Gangtok alone consumes 20,000 liters of milk every day from Sikkim Milk Union.

 Currently, there are 14,000 dairy farmers in the State. Similarly, the milk collection centers under Sikkim Milk Union have increased to 413 as compared to 311 in 2019. 

 The highest price of one liter of milk is now Rs. 65 and with the government incentive of Rs. 8, the maximum collection by a dairy farmer is Rs. 73 per liter. The minimum collection is Rs. 43, in comparison, the highest milk price fetched by a farmer in Sikkim in 2019 was a mere Rs. 24.

 “Around Rs., 5-6 crore are gained through dairy farming

Amidst covid- 19 consumers are still benefitting from it. An enhanced communication system is been developed at all levels starting from the government to the farmers along with sensitization on Covid protocols,” said Dr. Karki.

 Besides the existing milk rates, the Sikkim Milk Union also offers Rs. 80 per liter for the indigenous Siri cow milk including the govt. incentive and the amount comes to a lucrative Rs. 88 per liter.

 “It has become a tool to sustain the economy in villages during this pandemic period with the speedy sales rate of milk. Revenue comes to villages and the purchasing power of villagers is strong through dairy business,” said the Sikkim Milk Union managing director.

 The dairy farmers are directly getting paid in their bank accounts.

Meanwhile, a dip was seen in the selling of dairy products due to pandemic exemption protocols. But new markets are been explored and new towns were added to their distribution network, says Sikkim Milk Union Managing Director.

GANGTOK: Since the last two years Covid pandemic, dairy farming has turned up as a great source of revenue income in the rural areas of Sikkim with a growing interest of farmers to opt-out the selling of milk products. 

The new generation is drawn towards dairy farming in Sikkim, with the near-collapse in other forms of livelihood, good prices, an extra government incentive, and exemption from lockdown restrictions.

 Around Rs. 5-6 crore as of revenue are going to the villages of Sikkim every month via dairy farming suggested from the rough estimation of the stakeholders which plays a major role in sustaining the economy of rural Sikkim as other forms of livelihood remain crippled due to pandemic. 

Sikkim Cooperative Milk Producers Union (Sikkim Milk Union) has a prominent role in upscaling of the local dairy farming sector in the past several years while other sectors declined.

Sikkim Milk Union managing director Dr. A.B. Karki shares that the pandemic lockdown of 2020 turned into a grabbing opportunity for dairy farmers. The Sikkim Government supported the dairy farmers by exempting milk services from the Coronavirus lockdown as an essential commodity. And an incentive of Rs 8 per liter was provided to them. 

“With the onset of covid in 2020, people were unaware, yet Sikkim Milk Union didn’t face any such consumer issues in Bazar.

However, a certain fear rose in rural areas due to covid -19 that it may spread out from the urban areas, hence they want to avoid the selling of milk. 

 Despite being in the fresh lockdown, villagers no longer fear and aims in producing maximum milk and adding more cows to their shed.

Since no other sustainable economic activities are in the villages, they want to sell more” said Dr. Karki.

 The daily milk procurement figure of Sikkim Milk Union is around 54,000 liters from the 413 collection centers across the State. Daily intake, 44,000 liters of milk are sold in the markets while the remaining milk quantity is processed into other dairy products. Gangtok alone consumes 20,000 liters of milk every day from Sikkim Milk Union.

 Currently, there are 14,000 dairy farmers in the State. Similarly, the milk collection centers under Sikkim Milk Union have increased to 413 as compared to 311 in 2019. 

 The highest price of one liter of milk is now Rs. 65 and with the government incentive of Rs. 8, the maximum collection by a dairy farmer is Rs. 73 per liter. The minimum collection is Rs. 43, in comparison, the highest milk price fetched by a farmer in Sikkim in 2019 was a mere Rs. 24.

 “Around Rs., 5-6 crore are gained through dairy farming

Amidst covid- 19 consumers are still benefitting from it. An enhanced communication system is been developed at all levels starting from the government to the farmers along with sensitization on Covid protocols,” said Dr. Karki.

 Besides the existing milk rates, the Sikkim Milk Union also offers Rs. 80 per liter for the indigenous Siri cow milk including the govt. incentive and the amount comes to a lucrative Rs. 88 per liter.

 “It has become a tool to sustain the economy in villages during this pandemic period with the speedy sales rate of milk. Revenue comes to villages and the purchasing power of villagers is strong through dairy business,” said the Sikkim Milk Union managing director.

 The dairy farmers are directly getting paid in their bank accounts.

Meanwhile, a dip was seen in the selling of dairy products due to pandemic exemption protocols. But new markets are been explored and new towns were added to their distribution network, says Sikkim Milk Union Managing Director.