Bhubaneswar: Hundreds of milk producers Wednesday staged a demonstration and poured milk on the streets here protesting against state government’s alleged apathy towards them.
The producers under the banner of ‘Odisha Milk Farmers’ Association’ demanded a minimum support price (MSP) of at least Rs 30 per litre of milk, inclusion of milk and milk products in midday meal (MDM) and Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) programmes, interest-free loan for milk farmers and animal feed at Rs 15 per kg.
The agitating dairy farmers also held a rally from Master Canteen Square to PMG Square during which they poured milk on the street.
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).
Though the state government has made provision of crop loan at 1 per cent interest, the dairy loan is given at 12 per cent, he said.
Besides, the secretaries and testers at 5,049 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 depends on milk economy for their livelihood.
Press Trust of India