Odisha Sun Times Bureau:
Bhubaneswar, Jan 9:
Driven by the tagline of ‘Happy farmers, happy cows, pure milk’, Odisha’s fastest growing dairy brand Milk Mantra has taken a step forward to empower its farmers network by signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the State Bank of India (SBI) at the bank’s main branch here today.
In a bilateral agreement with the bank, the company has entered into an understanding for facilitating easy loans to its network of farmers through SBI to empower thems and explore quality dairying opportunities in the state as part of its innovative Ethical Milk Sourcing Programme.
Starting from scratch, Milk Mantra now has more than 30,000 farmers in its network. Through its structured ethical milk sourcing programme, it has been facilitating several extension services to farmers to improve dairy development in Odisha – cattle loans, health camps, AI services, cattle feed etc.
With a significant presence in Puri, Cuttack and Jagatsinghpur districts, Milk Mantra has recently forayed into western Odisha and is building its farmer network in Bargarh and Sambalpur.
The company has already disbursed around Rs. 1.5 crore to its network of farmers and is seeing the effect of sustainable income generation and dairy development in its clusters – ensuring financial growth as well as a steady, fair and transparent partnership, a senior official said.
“Starting with 10 farmers and 25 litres of milk collection in 2011, Milk Mantra now has around 30,000 farmers in its network. We feel proud that we are one of the few dairy companies in India to have provided extension services to our farmers from day one of our operations, without getting any support from any institution,” said Srikumar Misra, founder and Managing Director of Milk Mantra.
“This has resulted in dairy development in the state and has interested the farmers greatly. All this will go a long way in ensuring Odisha’s unrealised potential in healthy dairying. With a strong associate like SBI joining us, we are confident that there will be a sustainable impact on the rural ecosystem of Odisha,” Misra added.