Even though dairy farmers of the state had welcomed the announcement in the last state budget that milk subsidy would be hiked from 80 paise per litre to `1, they are yet to reap the benefits.Till now, the farmers have not received even a single rupee under the new scheme.
Even though the hike would not have drastically helped the farmers who are drowning in crisis because of escalating production cost, the proposal for the nominal increase was considered ‘better than nothing’.
Minister for Dairy Development K C Joseph and senior officials said the department will implement the scheme as direct benefit transfer (DBT) and the project is in progress. “We hope to finish the procedures within some months,” a senior official said.
The department is also planning to make Aadhaar card mandatory to avail the subsidy. But farmers and farmers’ movements opine that DBT in dairy sector would be a disaster.According to Baby Varghese, a dairy farmer and president of the Sulthan Bathery Milk Cooperative Society, Wayanad, all empirical evidence are against the possibilities of the smooth functioning of DBT.
“We have been receiving some subsidies in certain schemes through DBT, which are distributed through banks with core banking facility. Most of the farmers have their accounts with cooperative banks. But most banks do not have core banking facility and we have to depend on other banks,” he said.