Sharmili Mallick

Cuttack/Balasore: Alleging that procurement of milk and supply of cattle fodder and feed have been stopped by Odisha State Cooperative Milk Producers’ Federation (OMFED) and some co-operative societies due to the nationwide coronavirus lockdown, dairy farmers in Cuttack and Balasore districts dumped hundreds of litres of milk on road as a mark of protest.

As per reports, many dairy farmers at Raisunguda area of Salepur block in Cuttack district today dumped hundreds of litres of milk on road protesting the alleged non-procurement of milk by the federation. They also alleged that OMFED has stopped the supply of subsidised cattle feed to the dairy farmers.

“The government had assured that milk procurement will not be affected due to the lockdown. However, due to the lackadaisical and dictatorial attitude of the OMFED authorities, the dairy farmers are suffering now. Besides, the supply of cattle feed also has been stopped. I request the government to provide us cattle feed through the OMFED in subsidised rates,” said a dairy farmer Mrutyunjay Sahoo.

“The government had directed the OMFED to procure milk twice a day from the farmers. Accordingly, they took the supply from us for two days but stopped it on the third day,” alleged the secretary of a local milk cooperative society, Amaresh Pradhan.

Similarly on Friday, expressing resentment over the non-procurement of milk by Gopalpur co-operative society in Bahanaga block in Balasore district, which supplies milk to OMFED, around 35 women dairy farmers of Raniaganj village dumped over 80 litres of milk on road in protest.

“We earn our livelihood through cattle and their survival is at stake. The government should make arrangements for supplying cattle feed to us and therefore, we want some help from the OMFED and the government,” appealed a dairy farmer, Nandani Rashmirekha Behara.

Another farmer Sushmita Sahoo had alleged, “They are not procuring milk for the last four-five days. Our survival depends on the supply of milk. The supply of cattle feed has also been stopped.”

OMFED authorities are yet to comment on the matter.