PALAKKAD: Dairy farmers of Kunnamkattupathy in Chittur on Wednesday protested against the failure of Milma to procure milk from them by pouring the day’s yield in the open. The Malabar Regional Co-operative Milk Producers Union (MRCMPU) of Kerala Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (Milma) did not procure milk as it was unable to sell the excess milk because of the lockdown.
The Malabar union procures around six lakh litres of milk per day. The highest contributor is the agrarian district of Palakkad with 2.10 lakh litres. But because of the Covid-19 fallout, it could market only three lakh litres per day. There is no milk powdering factory in Kerala as of now, as the only one started in Alappuzha’s Punnapra 15 years ago was shut down.
At that time, Kerala had no surplus milk to make it into powder, said Milma director K S Mani. He said the stock of milk at MRCMPU as of Wednesday was 10.5 lakh litres. “Milma has a unit to produce ‘Milma Long Life’ brand in Kannur, but the processing takes five days. Once it begins production, we could use around 30,000 litres of excess milk daily to produce ‘Milma Long Life’ with a shelf life of three months,” he said. “Today, the workers in my farm had to pour the milk away as the Milma society did not procure it. We enquired with some orphanages to find out if they were willing to take the milk, but the nearby farmers had already supplied them milk,” said Lalitha Ramakrishnan, who runs a farm in Muthalamada.