COVID-19 Lockdown: Resume Milk Procurement Or Compensate Dairy Farmers, Union Minister To Odisha CM
Bhubaneswar: Union minister of state for MSME, fisheries, animal husbandry and dairying, Pratap Sarangi has shot off a letter to Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik while urging him to take steps to resume normal milk procurement by Odisha State Cooperative Milk Producers’ Federation (OMFED) or create a monetary compensation system for dairy farmers who are reeling under the impact of lockdown in the State in the wake of Coronavirus outbreak.
“The ongoing lockdown measures have cascading effect on all sectors including the dairy farmers of the State,” Sarangi wrote in the letter.
“Ever since the lockdown, the OMFED has substantially reduced its milk procurement from the local dairy farmers due to severe demand squeeze. The local market has also its own limitation in creating the requisite demand for milk in the prevailing situation,” the Union Minister pointed out.
He said the dairy farmers are facing a great deal of hardship as they have to purchase fodder for their livestock and also spend on their upkeep and maintenance, while not getting the market price for their milk.
Stating that the local dairy farmers do not have the processing capacity to preserve milk and enhance its shelf-life, the minister said in many places the farmers are forced to throw their milk in the open without finding any buyer.
Union MoS (MSME) Pratap Sarangi writes to #Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik requesting him to allow OMFED to resume its normal milk procurement from local dairy farmers or create a monetary compensation system for the farmers so that they do not suffer during #CoronaLockdown #COVIDー19 pic.twitter.com/WLZzxaJDjd
— OTV (@otvnews) April 1, 2020
“I, therefore, request you to kindly address the concerns of the dairy farmers by way of either directing the OMFED to resume its normal milk procurement from the local dairy farmers so as to augment its processing capacity to produce more durable milk products like ghee and cheese having greater shelf-life or creating a monetary compensation system to help the dairy farmers sustain in their business in this difficult times,” the union minister added.
Alleging that procurement of milk and supply of cattle fodder and feed have been stopped by OMFED and some co-operative societies due to the nationwide coronavirus lockdown, dairy farmers in Cuttack and Balasore districts were earlier seen dumping hundreds of litres of milk on road as a mark of protest.