The state government will purchase 10 lakh litres of milk at Rs 25 per litre for the next two months. The decision was taken at a meeting of a group of ministers Tuesday following reports of exploitation of dairy farmers at the hand of private buyers, and a drop in milk supply following COVID-19 outbreak.
Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said the collection of milk will begin in four to five days and will continue for two months. “The state government will purchase 10 lakh litres of milk and pay Rs 25 per litre. An allocation of Rs 200 crore has been made for the same. The milk procured will also be processed into milk powder,” Pawar said, the decision will be implemented through the state Milk Cooperative Federation. The federation, he added, has also been asked to ensure that private players don’t exploit dairy farmers.
According to reports, private organisations have been procuring milk for Rs 15 to Rs 17 per litre since the outbreak of the virus, thus causing a loss of Rs 8 to 10 per litre to farmers. Government intervention was sought to stabilise the price at Rs 25 per litre.
Milk is enlisted under the Essential Commodities Act and there has been no restriction on organisations on its purchase or supply to residential and commercial establishments, including hospitals and general stores, during the lockdown period.
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