Minister for Animal Husbandry and Dairy Development J Chinchurani said today that the state government is taking necessary steps to make available adequate quantities of cattle feed for dairy farmers at affordable prices as part of efforts to reduce the input cost in the dairy sector.
The Minister was speaking while inaugurating the distribution of financial assistance announced by Thiruvananthapuram Regional Co-operative Milk Producers Union (TRCMPU) for dairy farmers and milk cooperative societies in flood-ravaged areas, at a function at Vallikunnam in the district.
Around 60 farmers received the relief assistance at the function.
The government is giving top priority to ensure remunerative price to milk producers and ease the burden from frequent increase in cattle feed price in co-ordination with Milma and other dairy sector agencies, the Minister said.
“Unavailability of ingredients to make cattle feed is a big problem faced by the state. This results in high prices of cattle feed. The government is working on plans to address this issue. These include cultivation of feeding grass. Milk cooperative societies will be encouraged to take up grass cultivation on lands available in their respective localities,” Chinchurani added.
Noting that Kerala is not only on the verge of attaining self-sufficiency in milk production but set to emerge as a major milk producing state of the country, she added.
TRCMPU has made an initial provision of Rs one crore to extend financial assistance to the flood-hit dairy farmers in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta and Alappuzha districts.
M.S. Arunkumar, MLA, who presided over the function, said dairy farmers will soon get the benefits of the government’s efforts to reduce the price of cattle feed.
TRCMPU Administrative Committee Convenor N Bhasurangan, in his welcome address, said even as welfare projects are meant for dairy farmers, TRCMPU has also decided to extend them for the employees of milk cooperative societies as well.
TRCMPU Managing Director, D.S. Konda, presented the report at the function.
In October, TRCMPU announced an emergency relief package of Rs one crore to help the dairy farmers in flood-hit areas, including a solatium of Rs. 25,000 for the next of kin of the farmers who lost their lives due to the disaster.
Farmers who have lost their cattle in the disaster are entitled to upto Rs. 25,000 as compensation under the package. Also, upto Rs 20,000 would be given for re-building the cattle sheds destroyed in natural calamities and Rs 10,000 for repair of the damaged buildings of milk co-operative societies.
TRCMPU teams had visited milk cooperatives in the flood-ravaged areas to assess the loss and damage on the dairy sector due to floods and landslips.
The Union also launched free cattle feed distribution programme to the farmers in these areas, besides organising veterinary aid camps in co-ordination with the co-operative societies.
Bharanikkavu Block Panchayat President, Rajani; Vallikunnam Grama Panchayat President, Biji Prasad; District Panchayat Member, Nikesh Thampi; TRCMPU Administrative Committee Members VS Padmakumar and KR Mohanan Pillai, were also present.
Dr G. George, Assistant Manager, P&I, TRCMPU, proposed a vote of thanks.