Shimla, Dec 5 (IANS) State-owned Himachal Pradesh State Cooperative Milk Producers' Federation Ltd. has forayed into the market of skimmed milk powder, an official said here Wednesday.
The milk cooperative has already made its presence felt in the northern region with the supply of dairy products, mainly milk and 'desi cow ghee'.
"We have started the marketing of skimmed milk powder which has a good market in the state particularly during the lean winter months," cooperative managing director A.K. Thukur told IANS.
'Him Ghee', 'Him Milk' and 'Him Butter' are the flagship brands of the milk cooperative and caters to about 50 percent of their demand in the state.
He said skimmed milk powder under the brand name 'Him Milk Powder' is available in the market in the packing of half kg at a rate of Rs.90.
Thakur said the cooperative has got an order to supply 750 tonnes of milk powder in a year to over 18,000 Anganwadis in the state.
For the production of milk powder, the federation has installed a unit at its plant near Rampur, some 120 km from here, with a capacity to produce five tonne per day.
The cooperative is procuring 60,000 litres milk daily on an average.
To promote dairy business in the state, the government increased milk procurement price by Re.1 from April 1 and reduced value added tax (VAT) on sweetmeats and milk products from 13.75 percent to 5 percent.
During the financial year 2010-11, the milk cooperative has a turnover of Rs.4,767 lakh.
Livestock plays an important part in the sustainability of the economy of Himachal Pradesh.
According to state's economic survey of 2011-12, the contribution of major livestock products in 2010-11 was 11.02 lakh tonnes of milk, 1,642 tonnes of wool, 102.70 million lakh eggs and 3,610 tonnes of meat.