Kerala government to supply surplus milk to anganwadi kids, migrant workers during coronavirus crisis
At a time when the world is virtually waging a war against COVID-19, and the country is under a 21-day lockdown with the shutdown of services like restaurants and stores, many people are finding it difficult to gain access to basic necessities like milk and groceries.
In such a scenario, dairy farmers in Kerala poured nearly 80,000 litres of milk on ground to protest again milk marketing cooperative Milma as it was unable to procure milk from them. The dairy farmers in the region are having a tough time to sell their milk as cooperatives are unable to procure milk from them due to the coronavirus lockdown.
Kerala State Chief Minister, Pinarayi Vijayam (Image: The Print)
According to reports, Milma’s daily surplus is said to be 1,80,000 litres. On March 24, Milma did not procure any milk from farmers, and this is what led to the mounting supply situation.
In such a situation, the Kerala government has come to the rescue of dairy farmers, and has announced that all surplus milk will be given to anganwadi children and daily-wage migrant labourers.
It said it will work alongside Milma to supply the surplus milk as announced by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on April 1. This will be executed alongside the already existing mid-day meal delivery for anganwadi children.
“Now, the Tamil Nadu government has agreed to take the surplus milk and convert it into milk powder. Besides, arrangements have been made to send milk to Gundur in Andhra Pradesh,” said Milma Malabar regional union managing director Vijayakumaran KM, according to New Indian Express.
Some of the most-affected people by this long period of lockdown are construction workers, dairy farmers, vegetable, and fruit vendors.
The Kerala Chief Minister has also urged people to buy more milk in order to allow dairy farmers to make a living.
“In addition to this, it has been decided that UHT milk at the rate of 180 ml per day per individual, for children and pregnant ladies, who are covered under the Anganwadi Scheme run by the Department of Women and Child Development, Government of Kerala, will be supplied by Milma for one month, and the cost of the same will reimbursed to Milma/the Regional Milk Marketing Unions by the state government,” the government order said, according to Live Mint.
CM Pinarayi Vijayan also thanked Tamil Nadu government for accepting his request to help convert surplus milk into milk powder.
Milma has now been allowed to use a factory at Erode, by Aavin, the Tamil Nadu Cooperative Milk Producers Federation. Here, 50,000 litres of surplus milk can be converted into milk powder every single day.
(Edited by Megha Reddy)
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