Sunday, October 10, 2010

(AGRI) Amul May Adopt Israel's Kibbutz Model

"The apex body of milk cooperatives in Gujarat seeks to replicate the Israeli farming method to raise profitability.

Ahemdabad: The maker of the Amul brand of dairy products, Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd, may adopt Israel’s kibbutz model of dairy farming to increase productivity and profitability.

Israeli kibbutz are cooperative societies that buy, breed and maintain 1,000-1,200 animals, unlike Amul’s model in which farmer members own the animals and provide milk to the cooperatives.

'Israel’s kibbutz model is highly successful for commercial dairy farming, and we are interested in adopting this model,' said R.S. Sodhi, acting managing director of the the Rs8,005-crore firm.

In commercial dairy farming, a cooperative milk-producing union can improve production manifold through advanced technology in breeding, healthcare and milking process, he said.

Sodhi said it is currently difficult to ensure all farmer members benefit from modern technology as most own just one or two animals.

The new model will not completely replace the current one, he clarified. 'This will be an addition to our current model,' Sodhi said. 'Member unions under the federation have sufficient fiscal space to finance such facilities.'

Amul is Asia’s largest dairy federation with at least three million members in 12,000 villages, and has a daily average milk collection of 8.7 million litres. It markets 76 products.

Orna Sagiv, Israel’s consul general in Mumbai, who visited Amul dairy and the federation’s headquarters in Anand on Thursday, has invited its representatives to visit Israel to study the kibbutz model.

The visiting delegation would make suggestions, after which any further decision will be taken, Sodhi said.

According to Israel Dairy Board, there are 165 kibbutz dairies in the country, contributing over 60% of the milk production in Israel, which averages at least 1.2 billion litres a year.'Israel’s dairy sector is much advanced in maintaining cattle, which is reflected in their per animal milk production,' a federation board member said on condition of anonymity, pointing out that yield per animal in Israel is more than 32 litres a day, compared with 3.5 litres in Gujarat.

While conceding that commercial dairy farming can make a difference to their federation, Ramsinh Parmar, chairman of Kheda District Co-operative Milk Producers Union Ltd and a federation board member, said, 'We need to ensure that the administration is capable enough to replicate Israel’s successful model.'" (source)

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