Gurbhagwat Singh Kahlonís book
provides very useful clues to the question. Kahlon has
life-long experience of improving dairying techniques and
marketing milk and milk products. He was associated with
dairying immediately after independence. He is credited with
the successful launching of quality milk supply in Chandigarh
when the city was made the capital of Punjab in 1953, setting
up the first milk plant at Verka and in several other places
in Punjab (and Haryana) both in the public and private
sectors, dairy extension centres, promotion of research and
introduction of an innovative marketing system through milk
superannuation in 1977 he developed a modern dairy complex,
Madhani Milk Foods near Chuni Kalan village. His long
experience makes him the most recognised expert on dairying
and dairy development. Kahlon discusses two major concerns in
this book. One, the people of this country must get a balanced
diet. Milk and milk products can remove several deficiencies
in the diet of the common people, provided quality milk is
available at an affordable price. Two, milk producers must
have access to modern development and must become commercial
producers. To meet these objectives Kahlon presents a model
already successfully tested at the Madhani complex.
against the Anand (Gujarat) pattern of dairying in which
landless agricultural labourers and small and marginal farmers
keep one or two milch animals as subsidiary occupation.
According to him, "this pattern does not envisage
scientific commercial milk production with highly productive
milk animals in sizeable herds and, more especially, upgraded
crossbred cows". This pattern resulted in the replacement
of the Punjab Dairy Development Corporation by the Punjab Milk
Producers Cooperative Federation (Milkfed) in 1983. He views
Milkfed as "a sick organisation struggling for its own
survival and existence, and is in no position to look into the
problems and interests of milk producers, especially the
weaker section of the rural population.
In view of
the crisis in Punjab agriculture and the challenges posed by
the WTO, Kahlon has given a call for action in the dairying
sector as part of the diversification programme. He suggests
that buffalo should be replaced by high yielding crossbred
cows. At the same time he has proposed changes in the
organisation of milk production and marketing. It is in this
context that he was instrumental in establishing the Punjab
Dairy Development Board in October, 2000, to free the dairy
sector from the Anand pattern. Under this he suggests the
establishment of satellite dairy farms. The proposed rural
dairy development centres will be linked with a milk plant for
providing assured market. One rural dairy development centre
can cater to about 50 villages for producing quality milk.
scheme the thrust will be on establishing a large number of
satellite farms. Each village will have at least 10 satellite
farms with 10 or more crossbred cows for producing 100 litres
or more a farm thereby achieving a target of 1000 litres in
every village and the cluster producing 50,000 litres a day. A
milk chilling centre can also be established. These centres
have to be the pivot and focal points for providing such
services as training, feed planning, health cover, breeding,
genetics and other technical support.
successful working of this strategy at least one village in
each group should be developed as a multi-farm centralised
unit on panchayat land to utilise the collective strength of
about a dozen farmers having 30 cross-bred cows each along
with their calves. These multi-farms are designed on the
Israeli pattern. Ultimately the purpose is to develop joint
stock companies which can set up milk chilling plants.
was accepted by the Punjab Government and two dairy complexes
were planned. One was to be developed at Kal Jharani village
in Bathinda district and another at Padhari Kalan in Amritsar
district. Chief Minister of Punjab Badal took keen interest in
this idea for launching commercial dairying. He also led a
delegation to Israel to gain first-hand knowledge.
these projects were hit by neglect and apathy after launching.
While there was some progress at Kal Jharani, the one in
Padhari Kalan was jinxed from the beginning. Ultimately both
projects have been abandoned and declared nonviable.
quoted official papers which contain interesting details on
the way the project has been virtually scuttled by the
implementing agencies. Kahlon feels that political leadership
and the administrative machinery are working at cross
purposes. What the Chief Minister has proposed on the basis of
expert opinion and an assessment of the project in Israel has
been opposed by the unimaginative state apparatus....The
official-pseudo expert nexus has become too entrenched and too
powerful to be flexible and open to reason even in the face of
support by the heavyweight Chief Minister.
Not only the
implementation of the project was blocked, its cost was
inflated by distorting the specifications and designs,
purchase of inferior breed of cows (with two tits).
Unfortunately instead of punishing those responsible for these
violations, they remain firmly in their saddle.
finds a sharp contrast in implementing projects during the
Pratap Singh Kairon days and now.
projects close to the heart of Chief Minister Parkash Singh
Badal are scuttled. Kahlon attributes the present situation to
the "instrument of governance by inducting sycophancy,
manipulation, intrigue where the ego has bloated into
arrogance". He asks the Almighty "to save my state
of Punjab and its enterprising people from its credulous,
gullible rulers and some of the most Machiavellian
manipulators in the state official hierarchy".
implementation of technically sound and viable projects there
must be two preconditions. One, there must be political will
to push through the projects. Two, a working and honest
machinery should be in place. The book brings out clearly that
these preconditions existed in earlier times and development
took place at an accelerated pace. Now these are missing and
there is deceleration in development. In the absence of these
diversification of agriculture cannot take off even if it is
carefully and meticulously planned by experts.
Kahlon makes a forceful plea
to hurry up and launch technically sound proposals for dairy
development as a (core) part of the larger programme of
diversification of agriculture and economy of the state. The
book provides a deep insight into the roots of sustained
crisis of economy and governance in Punjab. It should be read
by academicians and those who are running the affairs of the