As milk spoils easily if not refrigerated, there is a need for investments in infrastructure including Bulk Milk Chillers (BMC) at the collection point and refrigerated trucks to transport such milk to centralized processing plants. We work closely with Amul and its District Milk Unions, with Rajasthan Cooperative Dairy Federation (RCDF) and private entrepreneurs to identify locations where they can establish collection centres equipped with BMCs. Ideally, such a location should have an adequate supply of milk coupled with an NGO interested in working with the community towards ensuring hygienic, timely supply of milk to the collection centre.
Camel milk collection is underway in Kachchh by both Aadvik Foods
and Amul’s Sarhad Dairy, with Aadvik marketing a variety of camel milk products including chocolate, soap, powder, etc. Sarhad Dairy’s camel milk procurement is substantially higher than Aadvik’s, as presented in this document (hyperlink to our Camel brochure). Amul is involved in the marketing of liquid milk across Gujarat and camel chocolates across the country. Aadvik is currently experimenting with the procurement of goat milk in Surendranagar, largely targeting export markets in Europe and the US. The Sursagar Dairy in Surendranagar anticipates the beginning of large-scale procurement of goat milk in the second half of 2021.
The procurement of camel milk in Kachchh has resulted in a number of significant impacts. Households with an average herd size of 40 animals are earning around Rs. 20,000 a month. At last count, 22 young herders who had moved to cities in search of alternative employment have returned to herding and have invested capital in rebuilding family herds. In contrast with the secular decline in camel numbers in Rajasthan, the Kachhch camel population has seen a 15% growth in 2020. Herders see this as an investment that can provide reasonable returns while also assuring them of a dignity that was missing as truck driver assistants.
Further progress will depend on the successes of various agencies in marketing liquid camel and goat milk procured from Gujarat, and in procuring and marketing camel and goat milk from herders in Rajasthan.