Radha Mohan Singh urges to introduce milk in mid day meal
New Delhi: Union Agriculture Minister Radhan Mohan Singh has urged Chief Ministers of Bihar, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan to encourage free milk to school children. The Union Minister has written a letter to all state governments Thursday to introduce it in a mid day meal scheme.
The minister highlighted that Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh States have already implemented the availability of free milk products schemes to raise the nutritional level of school children through encouraging cooperatives milks in the Mid- Day Meal schemes.
The text of letter written to States Chief Ministers is as followed:
“You may be aware of School Milk Programme running successfully across the developed world which encourages children to consume dairy products and maintain a balanced diet regime. Milk, Yoghurt, cheese, buttermilk and other milk products that are important from the point of view of good nutrition and balanced diet, are provided to school children under the programme.
- The Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying & Fisheries in a meeting held on 15th June 2015, reviewed the situation in respect of procurement and sale of milk in the country. In the meeting, it was observed that there are surplus stock of skimmed milk powder with the State Milk Federation. The higher stocks of milk products with the cooperatives have resulted in reducing the working capital. In the interest of farmers and milk producers’ of the country, the cooperatives have continued procuring milk but they are working under severe constraint of working capital.
- Government of Karnataka’s project titled “Ksheerabhagya” scheme during the year 2012-13 aimed at supplying milk to schools thereby ensuring clean and hygienic food to children. The scheme continues to progress and give good results. Even the Government of Madhya Pradesh had recently launched a similar scheme in the State in which milk will be provided to schools and anganwadis.
- You may be aware that Milk contributes close to a third of the gross income of rural households and in the case of those without land it contributes, it estimates nearly half of their gross income. Further, 90% of farmers have a herd size of 2 or less and 69% of the dairy farmers are small & marginal. Introducing school milk scheme would help farmers and milk cooperatives owned by farmers a ready and steady market for their produce.
I would appreciate if your Government launches a similar milk programme in the Mid Day Meal scheme, addressing the issue of child malnutrition in the country by utilizing milk powder from the cooperatives which will help in enhancing nutrition of school children as well as improving their retention.”