Livestock

NDDB to run Ladakh Milk Federation to start structured dairy development

NDDB will run Milk Federation in Ladakh region to start structured dairy development
Image: nddb.coop

NDDB will run Milk Federation in the Ladakh region to start structured dairy development.

The National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) will run the Ladakh Milk Federation for the next five years so that a structured dairy development program can be put into place in the Ladakh region.

A tripartite memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed by NDDB, the Union Territory of Ladakh, and the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC). This means that NDDB will take over all of the operations of the Ladakh Milk Federation.

During the five-year period, NDDB will offer its services without charging any management fees and will put its professional staff in key managerial positions to run the federation and its parts.

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Meenesh Shah, Chairman of NDDB, said again at the MoU signing ceremony that NDDB will focus on areas where the dairy sector hasn’t been developed enough to help rural households make a living. ‘NDDB would make sure that the federation and the units that make up the federation are run professionally, with a focus on being fair and open with the dairy farmers,’ he said.

Radha Krishna Mathur, who is the Lt. Governor of UT Ladakh, and Jamyang Tsering Namgyal, who is a member of parliament from Ladakh, were there when the MoU was signed.

Mathur said that NDDB’s expertise would help set up a strong system for getting milk and processing it in Ladakh. It would also help with scientific activities to improve productivity, with a focus on breeding, nutrition, and the health of animals. ‘This MoU will encourage entrepreneurs to start dairy farms, which will lead to the growth of the dairy industry in the area. This will give rural youth a way to find work and increase milk production in the UT,’ he said.

Namgyal said about this new development that a focused effort on dairy farming in the area was long overdue and that the signing of this MoU would definitely help Ladakh’s economy grow.

Through its subsidiaries, NDDB will also help the UT of Ladakh with things other than dairy development. The Leh milk processing plant has been updated and fixed up by IDMC, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of NDDB.

Ladakhi cattle

According to the 20th Livestock Census, which was done in 2019, there are more than 35,000 cattle in the Leh-Ladakh region. There are about 22,000 native breeds and about 13,000 exotic breeds.

Ladakhi cattle come from the Ladakh area of Jammu and Kashmir. The native Ladakhi cattle are small, black or brown, and have short legs. They are well-suited to extreme cold and low oxygen conditions. The extensive method is used to raise these cows for milk and manure. A natural source of A2 milk is the milk from the native cattle.

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The ICAR-National Bureau of Animal Genetic Resources found that the native Ladakhi cattle produce between 2 and 5 kg of milk per day, with a high-fat content of about 5%. The milk is mostly used to make butter and a local dish called ‘churpi.’

The Ladakh Animal Husbandry Department says that the crossbred jersey cattle in Leh have been very successful and have led to a kind of ‘white revolution’ in the area, making it easier and more profitable for farmers to raise cattle.