JEYPORE: Dairy farmers of Southern Odisha are worried over new procurement norms set by the Orissa State Cooperative Milk Producers’ Federation Limited (OMFED). For the last few days, OMFED has stopped procuring milk from certain milk societies in the region citing poor quality.
OMFED was procuring 20,500 litres of milk from 389 societies comprising 4,000 dairy farmers in Koraput, Rayagada, Malkangiri and Nabarangpur districts for the last several years. The procured milk was processed in Jeypore OMFED plant. OMFED purchased milk having density of 24-29 points in the lactometer test.
A week back, OMFED decided to procure milk having 29 point density. As a result, 3,000 litres of milk were rejected on a daily basis by procurement officials of OMFED who refused to accept average quality of milk from the farmers.
The farmers, on the other hand, said the officials should consider the ground realities before implementing the new procurement norm. They urged the officials to resort to the old procurement norm considering the economic condition of a large number of farmers depending on dairy farming.
In a memorandum to OMFED, the farmers reasoned that most of them live in tribal areas and are unable to provide good quality fodder to cattle due to poor financial condition. This is why, milk quality is not high. “It is practically impossible for us to sell only good quality milk under the new procurement norm,” they wrote.
Officials said milk procurement from the region has gone down by approximately 3,000 litres per day. “We will stick to the new quality policy of OMFED,” said a senior Dairy Development Officer here.