Puri: Members of ‘Odisha Dugdha Utpadaka Sangram Samiti’ on Wednesday staged a unique protest against the alleged anti-farmer policy of the state government by pouring drums of milk on the roads in front of the district collector’s office here.
The agitating members of the farmers’ body also burnt effigies of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
The protesting members of the association demanded a minimum payment of Rs 30 per liter of milk by Omfed and inclusion of milk in the menu for the mid-day meal scheme. The association also threatened to intensify their stir if government fails to fulfill their demands.
According to sources, the members of the farmers’ body staged the protest after Omfed refused to purchase milk from the farmers.
Janmejaya Jena, president of the farmers’ body, said “Omfed is not collecting milk from self help groups. If Omfed does not procure milk from us, how will we repay the loan that we have taken to produce milk? We want to government to fulfill our demands or else we will be forced to commit suicide.”
Echoing the president, advisor of the body Krushna Chandra Jagdev said, “The government should change its attitude towards procurement of milk. If government makes provision for milk in mid-day meal then it will be beneficial to both the students and milk producers.”
“We have taken loans from banks and self help groups for milk production. But we are now unable to repay our loans as Omfed is not procuring sufficient milk from us. We have no other option left with us to repay the loans,” said an agitating woman member.