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Milk producers in Salem urge government to relax norms for incentives

The milk producers welcomed the State government’s announcement that ₹1 incentive per litre will be given to farmers who give milk to cooperative societies. But, they urge the government to consider relaxing the norms for the incentive.

In a circular dated July 25, the Commissioner of Milk Production and Dairy Development said as per the announcement made by the Dairy Development Minister in the Assembly, incentives will be given to farmers based on milk quality to encourage the production of quality milk. A sum of ₹1 will be given per litre of milk that has 4.3% fat and 8.2% solid non-fat (SNF). The incentive will be paid to the farmers’ accounts every month, and milk testing and spot acknowledgement will be ensured, the Commissioner added in the circular.

Welcoming the government’s decision, Tamil Nadu Milk Producers Welfare Association general secretary M.G. Rajendran said, “for the past 20 years we have been protesting to give incentives to farmers like in Karnataka. In Karnataka, ₹5 is given per litre to a farmer, who provides milk to cooperative societies. Our two-decade-old demand has been met, and we thank the Chief Minister, Minister, and officials.”

In the circular, it was mentioned that the incentive will be provided only to milk, which has 4.3% fat and 8.2% SNF (total 12.5%). The milk quality is determined by the concentrated cattle feed provided to the animal. As the procurement price is lower and the price of cattle feed increases, farmers are already struggling to provide adequate cattle feed, Mr. Rajendran added.

Stating that the present announcement will benefit only 15% to 20% of the members of a society, Mr. Rajendran said if the government provides a 50% subsidy for concentrated cattle feed, farmers will be able to give the milk at the fixed quality. So, the government should consider relaxing norms until the subsidy for the feed is provided. The government shall take a 12.5% total fat percentage and avoid variation in the percentage of fat and SNF. While a cow delivers a calf, the fat percentage will be 3.8 or 3.9%. But a few weeks after lactation, the SNF level will cross 8.7%. So, the government shall consider the overall fat percentage as 12.5 (fat plus SNF) for providing incentives, Mr. Rajendran added.

The Dairy Development Department officials said that the government should take a call in this regard. The officials said that they would bring the demand of milk producers to the government’s attention.

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