Bhubaneswar: Hundreds of milk producers in Odisha on Wednesday staged a demonstration and poured it on the streets protesting against state government’s alleged lack of concern for them.
The producers under the banner of ‘Odisha Milk Farmers Association’ demanded at least Rs 30 MSP (Minimum Support Price) per litre of milk, inclusion of milk and milk products in MDM and ICDS programmes, interest free loan for milk farmers and animal feed at Rs 15 per kg.
The agitating milk farmers also held a rally from Master Canteen Square to PMG Chhak during which they poured milk on the street in protest.
In a memorandum submitted to the Governor, Chief Minister and Agriculture Minister, they said that the condition of eight lakh milk farmers across the state was very bad and they were distressed as the cost of production was higher than what they got from Omfed (Odisha Milk Federation), the state run milk federation.
Though the state government has made provision of crop loan at the rate of one per cent interest, the dairy loan is given at 12 per cent, he said.
Besides, the secretaries and testers in 5049 primary milk co-operative societies do not get minimum wages fixed by the state government, he said.
They said while OMFED purchased milk at an average price of Rs 24 to 26 per litre from farmers, the consumers got it at Rs 40 per litre.
The Association also said that about 14 per cent of the state’s population depend on milk economy for their livelihood.