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Monday, April 19, 2021

10% fall in milk supply to co-operative societies in 3 Haryana districts

Farmers say hike not for common man, SKM distances itself from the call

Written by Sukhbir Siwach | Chandigarh |
March 3, 2021 9:19:03 am
Milk supply at Jind's Vita Milk plant

The milk supply to cooperative societies has fallen by over 10 per cent in three districts — Jind, Hisar and Fatehabad — of Haryana following the call by local farmer groups against selling milk to “government societies” over the issue of three farm laws.

Protesting dairy farmers say they will sell their milk to the “government societies” only at the rate of Rs 100 per litre while continuing to sell the milk to common man as per usual rates. Local groups of farmers and khaps have given a call for this for five days — from March 1 to March 5.

The call has got momentum in a few villages despite the Sanyukta Kisan Morcha distancing itself from the move asking the farmers to “follow the programme as issued by the morcha only”.

The farmers sell their milk to the dairies set by cooperatives societies in every village. Chairman of cooperative societies for Jind, Hisar and Fatehabab, Sushil Kumar said that Jind’s Vita Milk Plant received 17,000 litres of milk less on Monday in comparison to Sunday.

“On Sunday, we had received 1.61 lakh litres of milk but on Monday we received 1.44 lakh litres only. We did not get any supply from 17 cooperative societies out of total 761 societies,” Kumar told The Indian Express Tuesday.

The Jind milk plant is affiliated to Haryana Dairy Development Cooperative Federation. The federation functions under the administrative control of the state government. Federation chairman Randhir Singh says they haven’t received any information regarding the call of farmers yet.

However, Sushil Kumar said, “As many as 14-15 villages have completely stopped supplying milk to the cooperative societies as part of their agitation. They offered to sell the milk at the rate of Rs 100 per litre, but we can’t afford milk at this rate. At maximum, we purchase milk at the rate of Rs 62 per litre depending upon the fat in the milk. There won’t be any immediate impact as we have sufficient stocks of butter and milk powder. As of now, the supply of milk to our booths is also normal. But the impact is bound to happen if the milk is not supplied to the societies for long,” he added.

The Jind plant supplies milk powder to the Anganwaris and schools for mid-day meal as per government scheme in Hisar, Panipat, Fatehabad and Jind districts, said Kumar.

A farmer leader from Hisar, Suresh Koth, confirmed that in some villages the farmers have stopped selling milk to the cooperative societies.

“This has happened following statement by a BJP leader who said the farmers can sell their produce as per their convenience. But we urged the farmers to stick to the programme as issued by the Sanyukta Kisan Morcha only,” said Koth, whose farmer outfit is associated with the morcha.

Sources said that farmers have started supplying left-out milk to langars being organised for protesting farmers like one such langar being run at Jhanj Kalan village of Jind district. From Dhamtan village, the farmers even supplied 2,200 litres of milk to Tikri border. Few farmers continue to destroy their wheat crops too despite senior farmer leaders asking them not to indulge in such practices. A farmer in Karsindhu village, Lila Ram, Tuesday destroyed his standing crop of wheat in 2.5 acres out of his crop in total five acres.

Meanwhile, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar Tuesday called upon the farmers not to make such calls adding the efforts were made to mislead farmers by giving call for “hike in the prices of milk and setting standing crops on fire”.

While urging the farmers not to destroy their crops and also not to sell milk at inflated prices, the Chief Minister said: “In a democracy, holding a peaceful protest is everyone’s right but right now the farmers are being misguided to take such kind of drastic steps, which are eventually going to push them on the receiving end. I urge my farmer brothers to refrain from taking such decisions which will not only affect the common man but will also, bring a bad name to them as well.”

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