Farmers protest; pour milk on roads
Milk producers have urged the State government to fix a minimum support price (MSP) for milk.
Many of them have been discarding milk following reduction of procurement prices by private dairies. A.M. Selvaraj, a farmer, said this was the second time that private dairies have reduced procurement prices since the outbreak of the COVID-19. “We cannot bear losses of over ₹10 – ₹15 per litre of milk. They are now paying only ₹20-₹22 per litre,” he said.
Paavendan, another farmer, said the Tamil Nadu Cooperative Milk Producers’ Federation asked milk societies to not buy milk beyond their usual quantity. “If the government does not step in now, many of us will suffer,” he said.
M.G. Rajendran of the Tamil Nadu Milk Producers’ Welfare Association, said this situation could have been avoided if the government had fixed an MSP like in the case of sugar cane and other agricultural products. “Private dairies cannot change the rates on their own if this is done,” he said.
Official sources in the Dairy Development Department said the Commissioner of Milk Production has been advised to facilitate discussions between private dairy management and farmers. The Commissioner has been asked to allow the private dairies loyal farmers to become members in cooperative milk producers’ societies immediately and supply milk to Aavin or other societies.