AGRICULTURE AND IRRIGATION
The district possesses three fairly distinct breeds of cattle: (i)
Umarda or Gaorani, (ii) Khamgaon and (iii) Ghat. The Malwa and Purnathadi or Ellichpuri breeds are more common amongst the buffaloes. There are about 1,54,500 cows over three years and 38,740 buffaloes over three years. Out of 1.54 lakh cows more than 33 per cent are dry. The average yield per day per cow during a lactation period of 200 days is about one seer. The average yield per day per buffalo for a lactation of 300 days is three seers.
There are two Co-operative Dairy Societies' Milk Unions registered in the district, one at Amravati and the other at Anjangaon Surji. The Amravati Jilha Dudh Utpadak Sahakari Sangh supplies the entire quantity of milk to the Government Milk Supply Scheme, Amravati, while the Anjangaon Surji Milk Union collects milk from societies in the surrounding areas and
distributes the same in the town. About 50 to 75 litres of milk
is collected and distributed every day. For developing the
dairy industry in the Anjangaon Block, the Co-operative Depart-
ment has advanced the loan of Rs. 23,125 and subsidy of
RS. 7,675. The Anjangaon Surji Milk Union, which was
registered in 1961, has a membership of 49 and a share capital
of Rs. 5,075. The society could not make satisfactory progress
on account of lack of proper marketing facilities.
Amravati Jilha Dudh Utpadak Sahakari Sangh Ltd., Amravati, had seven societies affiliated to it. The federation, which was registered on 20th December 1962, with a paid up share capital of Rs. 5,001, started functioning from 1st January 1963. The total quantity of milk supplied by it comes, on an average, to 800 litres per day.
City Milk Supply.
Cows and buffaloes in the city of Amravati number nearly
10,000. Out of them 1,800 cows and 1,500 buffaloes were in
milk. They yield about 160 to 180 maunds of milk and almost an equal quantity is imported from the surrounding areas. Thus the daily total consumption in the city is estimated to be about 350 maunds. Of this, nearly 120 maunds of milk was consumed by 226 hotels in the city while the balance was used for domestic consumption. Hotels required more milk in the summer season.
Besides numerous milk producers, numbering about 2,500, there are a few organisations in Amravati which produce and distribute milk; the prominent amongst them being Government Cattle Breeding Farm, Pohra; Gorakshan Sanstha, Amravati: Shivaji College Dairy; Dugdhapurna Dairy, etc.
There is a good scope for encouraging milk production in Melghat taluka, as sufficient grazing facilities are available there. The difficulties experienced by the milk producers in the area are mainly shortage of water and non-availability of fodder. The area is infested with lantana camera which does not allow growth of grass. However, there is an area of 8,093.720 hectares (20,000 acres) of land which could be utilised for fodder production, provided proper attention is given.
Pilot Milk Supply Scheme, Amravati.
For organising the milk industry on scientific and sound
footing so as to ensure supply of good quality milk to the
citizens of Amravati and for providing remunerative occupation
to the agriculturists round about Amravati, the Government of
Maharashtra have launched a Pilot Milk Supply Scheme at
Amravati at an estimated cost of about 15 lakhs of rupees. The
scheme started functioning from 6th February 1962 and is
making a steady progress. The scheme at present is handling
about 640 litres of milk per day. The details of the scheme are
briefly described in the paragraphs below.
Milk (640 litres) is collected from five co-operative societies: (1) Janata Co-operative Dairy Society, Badnera; (2) Dhanora Cooperative Dairy Society, Dhanora; (3) Nandgaon Co-operative
Dairy Society; (4) Gopal Co-operative Dairy Society, Jevad and
(5) Shegaon Co-operative Dairy Society, Shegaon. The societies collect the milk from individual producers. Necessary tests as regards the quality of milk are carried out.
The milk on arrival at the dairy is tested for its freshness, fat
content, etc. Later, it is graded and weighed. Subsequently,
the milk is filtered and pasteurised before it is bottled. The
bottled milk is sold to individual customers at milk centres in