Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Patna Dairy Project (PDP) One of the greatest success stories

PATNA: Baskin Robbins took a beating when US Consul General George N Sibley and his wife, Lee-alison Sibley, tasted the mango ice cream, prepared
from the famous Alphonso mangoes of Maharashtra, at Patna Dairy Project (PDP), Patna. Asked for comments, a delighted Sibley wrote in the visitors' book that Sudha's delicious mango ice cream was the icing on all its products. The over 20 varieties of ice cream among other products that Sudha sells to its ever-growing number of consumers, has made it one of the greatest success stories of modern India.

For the last 26 years since its inception in 1983, Sudha, which literally means Amrit, the well thought out name given to it by the Bihar State Co-operative Milk Producers Federation Limited (COMPFED), has, with its reasonably priced products, including milk, reached the doorsteps of lakhs of people in Bihar and Jharkhand.

In fact, COMPFED set up with a noble mission to upgrade the socio-economic condition of rural farmers of Bihar, including helping them avoid disasters such as the death of their cattle by providing vet care, it also included supplying good quality cattle feed and facilities for artificial insemination. Catering to the needs of urban consumers with the supply of very hygienically packed milk at affordable rates, it was basically formed as an implementing agency of "Operation Flood" programme on the lines of Anand milk co-operative. To make women folks join the mainstream of dairy industry has been one of the many factors contributing to the formation of COMPFED.

With its 6,800 retail outlets in Bihar and Jharkhand, the dairies makes up a total quantity of 6.25 lakh litres of milk per day. However, with the marriage season on, the demand for milk varies between 7.5 lakh and 8.5 lakh per day, said COMPFED manager, marketing, Rajiv Verma.

The ISO certified dairies, including PDP, Barauni, Muzaffarpur, Samastipur etc. all are producing value-added and fresh milk products that include milk-based products and sweets.

Varieties of yoghurts (dahi) including the mouth-watering misti dahi, paneer, mattha, lassi, ghee, butter, peda, kalakand, gulab jamun, rasgulla, balusahi, khoa, flavoured milk etc selling even in the outskirts of the state capital, are a huge success with its consumers. To top it, the PDP is launching its `Triple Sundae' variety of ice cream soon to add to its already impressive list.

"With new technology in place, the new products are designed to have longer shelf lives," said PDP MD Sudhir Kumar Singh, adding most new products have been created keeping the health factors in mind.

"No wonder Sudha, the flagship for a host of dairy products marketed by COMPFED, has become Bihar and Jharkhand's largest milk brand and now aims to take the lead in the country soon with 12 to 15 per cent annual growth rate," added Verma.

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