Kozhikode: Kerala Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation (Milma) has been facing a crisis as Tamil Nadu stopped collecting milk from Kerala following the lockdown over COVID-19 outbreak.
In view of this, Malabar Milma managing director K. M. Vijayakumaran in a press release informed that Malabar Milma will not procure milk on Wednesday.
The press release added that Malabar Milma will revise the procurement manner and quantity from April 2, Thursday. Following this, Malabar region union chairman K. S. Mani declared that the union will take necessary action to support the dairy farmers during the crisis.
The other day, the Tamil Nadu government stopped milk export from Kerala after coronavirus cases crossed 200 in Kerala. But the farmers were hopeful that the ban would be lifted with discussions between the governments. As no action was taken to settle the issue, Milma decided to suspend procurement.
Milma has been procuring 6 lakh litres of milk from Malabar region every day. Even after making value-added products, only half of the procured milk was used. After sending a small quantity to Thiruvananthapuram unit, this excess milk was being exported to Tamil Nadu for producing milk powder. Hence, Milma never planned to reduce the quantity of milk being procured from the farmers. As milk powder was made in Tamil Nadu to support the farmers, the ban from the Tamil Nadu government will affect the farmers.
Thus, farmers will face a major setback with Milma’s decision to decrease the quantity of milk being procured. Over one-and-a-half lakh dairy farmers are registered under Malabar Milma.
Amid the lockdown, dairy farmers were not much affected as Milma continued to procure milk without any change in quantity.
Milma is forced to depend on Tamil Nadu due to the absence of milk powder manufacturing units in Kerala. Even during the floods, milk was exported to Tamil Nadu. But now the pandemic turned a villain for Milma too.