Chennai: Tamil Nadu government has accorded sanction for Rs 43.65 crore for distributing 12,000 milch cows to poor beneficiaries in rural areas during 2014-15 which will help boost milk production.
After AIADMK came to power in 2011, "Free Distribution of Milch Cows Scheme" was among the several freebie projects that were launched by Chief Minister Jayalalithaa.
Under the scheme, approximately 12,000 beneficiaries are being given milch cows every year since 2011-12 and a total of 60,000 beneficiaries are set to get cows during 2011-16.
As part of efforts to empower women the cow distribution plan gives priority to women and importantly destitutes, widows and disabled women in rural areas.
The cost of each milch cow is estimated to be around Rs 30,000 and totally Rs 1.08 crore (three per cent of the cost for each animal) has been earmarked for insurance purposes.
The beneficiaries are given the necessary hand-holding and training in rearing milch cows, official sources said. The government has enjoined district collectors to ensure that the deputy dairy registrar took action to form new "Primary Milk Producers Co-operative Societies" by enrolling the beneficiaries of the scheme. The local authorities have been asked to ensure procurement of milk from day one.
The cooperative network gives beneficiaries a ready-made opportunity for selling milk, breeding services and the possibility of getting benefits under various Central and State government funded schemes for the co-operative sector.