JAGATSINGHPUR: Members of Odisha Milk Farmers’ Front (OMFF) staged demonstration outside the Collector’s office on Monday protesting non-procurement of milk from local dairy farmers by OMFED for the last five days.
Jagatsinghpur is one of the highest producers of milk in the State. The district produces two lakh litres of milk per day and OMFED procures milk from 75,000 dairy farmers through 1,340 cooperative societies in undivided Cuttack district. Of this, 750 societies are in Jagatsinghpur district with at least 40,000 dairy farmers as their members.
Sources said OMFED decided not to procure milk from the farmers in the wake of excess production. As a result of this, farmers are forced to resort to distress sale.
The agitators said many of them have availed bank loans and if milk remains unsold, it will be difficult for them to repay loans. They submitted a memorandum to the Sub-Collector Narahari Shetty in this regard who assured them to take up the issue with higher authorities.
Also demanding a hike in milk procurement rate, they said if OMFED continues to stop buying milk from them, farmers will have to face huge loss.
Deputy General Manager (procurement and input) of Cuttack Milk Union, Biren Pattnaik said OMFED has stopped purchasing milk from Jagatsinghpur farmers as there has been an excess production. “We had suggested the farmers to keep the excess milk for personal use, but they are not ready to accept the suggestion,” he said.