The Tamil Nadu Milk Producers’ Welfare Association urged the State Government to take steps to include milk in the daily menu in the noon meal centres, and anganwadi to ensure that the entire quantity of excess milk produced by the farmers is procured.
The association will post letters with the demand to the Chief Minister on Friday to draw the attention of the government.K.A. Sengottuvel, president of the association, told reporters here after a State executive committee meeting on Thursday that all the five lakh members of the milk cooperative societies will post the letter from Friday. The society members have been asked to rope in farmers who supply milk to private dairies too in the agitation.
All the societies have been asked to display flex boards containing the demand prominently in front of their offices.
Mr. Sengottuvel said that there was a spurt in milk production in the State in the last few months.
The raise in procurement price by Rs. 5 a litre has attracted more farmers towards milk production.
The societies, however, were refusing to procure the excess milk. Many societies have announced a holiday twice a week to deny procurement of excess milk. The private dairies have closed many of their procurement centres.
Because of this, the milk farmers were forced to sell the excess milk at a paltry price of Rs. 15 to Rs. 17 a litre. Unable to bear the heavy financial loss, many farmers had started selling the cows at cheap rates to farmers of neighbouring States.
Thousands of cows were being transported to other States every week. If the trend continued, it will hit milk production in the State.
Mr. Sengottuvel said that if milk was included in the menu of the 70 lakh noon meal centres, and anganwadi about 50 lakh poor milk producers in the State will benefit.
The procurement of milk will increase from the present 30 lakh litres a day to 50 lakh litres.
This would help the Chief Minister to achieve the target of procuring one crore litre a day.
The office-bearers of the association will meet the Dairy Development Minister soon, and hand over the copy of the resolution passed at the meeting. Copies of the resolution will be forwarded to all the MLAs too, he said.
M.G. Rajendran, general secretary of the association, presented the resolutions at the meeting.