Milma has sought total exemption from the restrictions arising from the ‘triple lockdown’ clamped on four districts in the state as part of efforts to contain the surge of Covid-19, holding that these curbs will severely hamper its procurement and distribution operations.
In letters to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Chief Secretary V P Joy, Milma Chairman P A Balan Master pointed out that the ‘triple lockdown’ in Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam, Thrissur and Malappuram would seriously affect the procurement of milk from hundreds of dairy co-operatives in these districts and timely supply of this essential item to thousands of households through its network.
He also appealed to the Government to offset the additional cost incurred by Milma by way of turning the unsold surplus it procures from farmers into milk powder and make arrangements for Covid-19 vaccination of the employees of Milma and the co-operatives under it on a priority basis, considering the essential service rendered by them.
“Milma procures around 16 lakh litres of milk a day from around 8 Lakhs dairy farmers of over 3500 milk cooperatives under three regional unions. There has already been a considerable fall in sale of milk due to the lockdown. This has left an unsold surplus of about 4 lakhs litres of milk a day. This surplus used to be routed to milk powder factories in other states by Milma, suffering a huge loss. This has also been disrupted in the wake of the pandemic-induced restrictions enforced by states like Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh”, Balan Master said.
Considering these circumstances, if Milma is not exempted from the lockdown curbs it will hamper procurement and distribution to consumers. Such a situation would push the dairy farmers into a deep crisis, Balan Master added.
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