The Tata Power has financially supported and helped launch Maharashtra's first all-women dairy in Maval, Pune, with its products sold under the brand name of 'Creyo', an official said on Monday (16 December).
Called the Maval Dairy Farmer Services Producer Co. Ltd. (MDFSPCL), its operations started in a modest way in 2015 with 334 women members, which have now grown to around 1,200 women farmers.
The Tata Power helped finance around 40 per cent of the Rs 20-crore enterprise over the past four years with the women graduating from marginal farmers to agro-entrepreneurs who completely run and manage the project.
"In this dairy, the real heroes are the women who adopted the cooperative route to chart their own destinies. Traditionally, the dairy cooperatives have been male-dominated, with the role of women being restricted to care-providers, feeding and milking the animals. But, today there is a progressive change," said Tata Power CEO and managing director Praveer Sinha at the launch.
The company's Head-Hydros Ashwin Patil said the motive behind starting this project was to "empower the rural women by giving them a platform to completely run and manage" the MDFSPCL show.
"To enable them to assume leadership roles, we provided them orientation training on clean milk production and animal management and awarded 'Mini Dairy Entrepreneurship' certificates," Patil said.
Maval MP Shrirang Barane and MLA Sunil Shelkar were present on the occasion along with a large number of women farmers and the managers of the women's cooperative.
A spokesperson said that currently, India's milk production stands at 176.40 million tonnes daily, and women comprise more than 75 per cent of the share with animal husbandry operations like feeding, milking and sale of milk.
The MDFSPCL project has set up 15 advanced milk collection centres covering 26 villages which procure around six-tonne milk daily from various partner villages.
The dairy farmers receive the actual price realization of their produce and to enhance the plant's full capacity, the MDFSPCL has added 15 new villages.
In the past four years, the local communities covering 3,000 farmer households have integrated other support services like mini-dairies, veterinary services, training for managing dairy farms and product marketing.
To further boost the project, the all-women's dairy will not only supply milk to cities like Mumbai, Pune and others, but also venture into high quality dairy products like cream, butter and cottage cheese.
(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)
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