INDIA - Indian dairy cooperative Amul is waiting on official permission to set up a camel milk processing plant in Kutch, Gujarat, with an investment of $1.12 million to $1.28 million.
The process is still waiting on clearance from the Food Safety and Standards Association of India (FSSAI).
Plans are for a 10,000 litre capacity plant at Bhuj by Kutch-based Sarhad Dairy.
The current camel population in Kutch is only 12,000-13,000. Initially, the plant will process 2,000-3,000 litres per day and the processing will be scaled up to 10,000 liters, based on demand.
The plant will also produce value-added camel milk products such as lassi, flavoured milk, and, at a later stage, kulfi. Camel milk is high in insulin content and, hence, considered a healthy choice for diabetics.
The fat percentage in camel milk is 1.5 to 3.3 per cent, lower than cow and buffalo milk. As per National Research Centre on Camel (NRCC) that was set up in 1995, dromedary camels in India is around 516,828 head and are confined to the arid and semi-arid areas of North-western India spread out in parts of Rajasthan, Gujarat and Haryana.
Dr Raghvendar Singh, principle scientist of NRCC said that camel milk was particularly consumed to manage chronic diseases such as Type 1 diabetes, arthritis, and autism in children.
According to Indian agriculture ministry’s 19th livestock census report of 2012, the camel population in India is 400,000, of which milch camels are estimated to be 210,000. The total number had fallen 22.6 per cent in 2012, compared to the 2007 census data.