Union Minister for Food Processing Harsimrat Kaur Badal inaugurated the modern dairy and ice cream unit at the Verka Bathinda Dairy. The foundation stone for the same was laid in April and the project is now operational within the stipulated time.
Harsimrat Kaur Badal congratulated Verka on the successful completion of the project. She also appreciated the role of Verka in supplementing the income of farmers.
Verka is the leading dairy brand of the region with a large consumer base. The new plant would mainly cater to the Ice Cream demand of consumers of region. Verka Bathinda Dairy had an initial capacity of 1 lakh litre per day, which is being augmented to 2 lakh litres per day.
Speaking on the occasion Chairman,Verka, Amarjit Singh Sidhu said, “We are elated on the inauguration of the new unit. The project is worth Rs 32 crore and Rs 22 crore have been spent on this fully automated unit and the balance Rs 10 crore has been spent on village level infrastructure for procuring milk from the farmers in Bathinda and Mansa districts so that quality of milk is maintained in the entire supply chain. This has resulted in enhanced milk procurement of 25 per cent this year over last year. The project would help in value addition of milk which will help the federation to pay more price to the farmers. The unit would also open employment avenues for the youth in the region.”
“Bathinda has seen tremendous growth in recent years as Punjab is scripting new developmental history and Verka feels proud to be a part of this change,” he added.
Verka is the flagship brand of MILKFED (The Punjab State Cooperative Milk Producers Federation). The setup of the organization is a three tier system, Milk Producers Cooperative Societies at the village level, Milk Unions at District level and Federation as an Apex Body at State level. Currently Verka has around 7,000 village milk producers’ cooperative societies, with over 3,80,000 members. These village level cooperatives work under 11 district milk producers’ unions with 10 milk plants having a consolidated milk handling capacity of around 18,00,000 litres per day. To ensure high quality products, Verka has put up auto-milk collection centres, wherein the milk producers will get result of milk testing on the spot Bulk milk cooling centers have also been installed in cooperative societies to maintain the goodness of milk.