The Centre has suggested states, including Bihar and Tamil Nadu, to include milk and its products in mid-day meal scheme in order to provide nutritious food to school children.

In a letter to chief ministers of Bihar, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan, Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh school-children should be provided milk and its products in mid-day meal scheme for improving their nutritional status, according to a release by Agriculture Ministry.

The Minister wrote that Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh have already implemented the availability of free milk products schemes to raise the nutritional level of school children through encouraging cooperatives milks in the Mid-Day Meal schemes, the release said.

He said that it will also help farmers because with the introduction of milk in the mid day meal scheme, the cooperatives will get ready-made market for their products and it will ultimately help small and marginal farmers.

"Milk contributes to one third of total income of farmers in rural areas and about half of the total income of those farmers who don’t have land," Singh said.

Emphasising on the need of milk in mid-day meal scheme, Singh said it is also provided in the developed countries.

Milk, curd, cheese and other milk products which are rich source of nutritions and required for balanced diet, Singh said.