Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Puri, Apr 20:
In a unique protest against the alleged anti-farmer policy of the Naveen Patnaik-led Odisha government milk farmers in Puri, today poured hundreds of litres of milk on the road in front of the collector’s office here.
Members of ‘Odisha Dugdha Utpadaka Sangram Samiti’ apart from pouring drum loads of milk on the road burnt an effigy of Chief Miniter Naveen Patnaik to register their protest.
The agitating members demanded a minimum procurement price offer of Rs 30 per litre of milk by Orissa State Cooperative Milk Producers’ Federation Limited (OMFED) and the inclusion of milk in the menu of mid-day meals served in schools.
The milk farmers who were protesting against OMFED’s new procurement norms threatened to intensify their stir if the government failed to meet their demands.
“OMFED is not procuring milk from us. We have taken loans and purchased cows. What are we going to do with the milk ? How will we repay our loans ? If the government fails to fulfill our demands we will be forced to take the extreme step-commit suicide,” said an agitator.
“The government should introduce milk as one of the items in the mid-day meal menu in schools which would be beneficial for both children and milk farmers,” said another milk farmer.
Notably, OMFED has stopped procuring milk from certain milk societies citing poor quality. Recently, OMFED decided to procure milk having 29 point density. Earlier, it used to procure milk have 24-29 point density in lactometer test.