Background of Bangladesh Milk producers’ Co-operative Union Limited
In 1946, Late M. Mukhlesur Rahman Pioneer of Dairying in Bangladesh a Dairy Plant with a capacity of 2,000 litres per day was established at Lahirimohanpur, Pabna (presently Sirajgong) with the target to send milk products to Calcutta (India) market that was within the easy rail communication system. After the partition, Eastern milk Products Limited, a private company purchased this dairy in 1952 from the original owner. In 1965, the first milk producers’ co-operative was formed under the name Eastern Milk Producers’ Co-operative Union Limited (EMPCUL) through Government patronization over the plant at Lahirimohanpur, which has been taken specialy step (1973-1978) by The Father of nation Bangobandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman for the poverty alleviation and to enhance the milk production in the country.
The dairy plants were owned and operated by the Eastern Milk Producers' Co-operative Union Ltd. along with the other two existing dairies**. The nomenclature of the organization was changed to Bangladesh Milk Producers' Co-operative Union Ltd. In 1977 keeping it’s Brands name of products the same, MILK-VITA.
Bangladesh Milk Producers' Co-operative Union Ltd. popularly known by its brand name MilkVita, was established by the Bangladesh Government in 1973, immediately after the liberation war, based upon the recommendation by UNDP/FAO and DANIDA in the pattern of AMUL, India. It was initiated as a development project of the Government titled "Co-operative Dairy Complex" with the objective of ensuring fair price for the poor, landless and marginal milk producing farmers of the rural Bangladesh and on the other hand to provide the city dwellers with a regular supply of fresh and hygienic milk and milk products at a reasonable price. The scheme had the proposal of establishing dairy plants in the milk surplus areas already identified as Pabna, Tangail, Manikganj and Faridpur. The Government started implementation of the programme in it’s First Five Year Plan(1973-78). The plants were to operate through collection of milk by a network of milk producers’ co-operative societies in milk-shed areas. The project envisages the purchase of milk from individual farmer members of the primary milk producers’ societies, twice daily, transport of this milk to rural dairy plants of Tangail, Manikganj and Faridpur by a combination of vrious methods of transportation. After preliminary processing at the rural plants, milk is to be transported to Dhaka in insulated road milk tankers for processing, packing and marketing of pasteurized Liquid Milk and Milk Products. Milk collected at the Baghabarighat Plant from it’s surrounding societies, is to be converted into Butter, Powder Milk and Ghee etc. All the products however, are to be marketed through Dhaka Marketing Unit. The Head Office named “Dugdha Bhaban” of the organization. Milk Vita is a service oriented as well as commercial organization. It is the biggest and only on co-operative based milk industry in Bangladesh. Following the co-operative's acts & rules it is lead by itself. It’s a profitable organization. In spite of various limitations it is trying hard to gain self sufficiency in the dairy sector.
** There was another dairy plant, ASTO Dairy at Dhaka run by the National Co-operative Marketing Society which was amalgamated with the EMPCUL in 1973 (Eastern Milk Producers’ Co-operative Union Limited).