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Cabinet clears Mahanand’s handover to NDDB for 5 yrs

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In a major decision, state cabinet on Wednesday approved handover of the Mahanand Dairy management to National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) for the next five years to strengthen the apex organisation in the cooperative milk sector.

Mahanand is a venture of Maharashtra State Cooperative Milk Federation Ltd (MSCMFL) and is one of the top cooperative dairies in the state.


It, though, has suffered heavy losses in recent past and hasn’t been able to sustain the brand, officials said.
“Necessary agreement will be signed between govt and NDDB for Mahanand’s rehabilitation scheme. The brand Mahanand is an integral part of the lives of farmers and consumers in Maharashtra. Therefore, govt has taken the initiative for the revival of this institution. NDDB is expected to revitalise and empower it by adopting a commercial approach and cooperative principles,” an official said.

“For Mahanand’s professional development, decisions will be taken through the ‘steering committee’ headed by the animal husbandry and dairy development secretary. A total fund of almost Rs 253.6 crore will be made available to Mahanand in the form of equity capital for its revival. While rehabilitating Mahanand, NDDB will try to maintain a three-tier structure of cooperatives. For this, there will be “one village, one milk institution” at the village level. Milk-producing farmers will remain members of the union,” said an official. Apart from the funds required for retirement benefits of Mahanand’s employees, those for the remaining components will be made available with the approval of the animal husbandry and dairying secretary, officials said.

Last month, the board of loss-making Mahanand Dairy resigned, paving the way for it to be taken over by central govt’s NDDB. The board’s resignation was one of the pre-conditions for NDDB revival proposal, given to govt’s dairy development department.
MVA had slammed the Shinde-Fadnavis govt for handover of Mahanand Dairy to Gujarat-based but Centre-run NDDB. Officials said due to difficulties in milk collection and distribution, and mounting losses, the Mahanand Dairy board passed a resolution and had sent a proposal to state govt to hand over the management to NDDB.
Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Sanjay Raut said Mahanand Dairy, once the state’s glory, will be taken over by NDDB. “Mahanand, Gokul, Varana, Chitale, we have many milk brands in Maharashtra. There is a very large network of milk production, milk dairies in rural areas of Maharashtra… Efforts are on to take Mahanand to Gujarat as well,” he said.

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