Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, May 14:
After Puri and Bargarh, scores of milk farmers today poured hundreds of litres of milk on the road in Lower PMG of Odisha capital protesting against government apathy and toughened procurement norms of OMFED.
The farmers that were protesting under the banner of ‘Odisha Dugdha Utpadaka Sangram Samiti’, however, had to face opposition from the denizens who openly denounced wasting an essential commodity on a public road.
Perturbed a bit yet unrelenting, the farmers took to distributing the milk to the travellers and nearby slum-dwellers free of cost.
“We are being neglected and harassed by both OMFED and the State Government alike. While the current minimum procurement price of milk is too low to even maintain our livestock, OMFED recently raised density bar to 29 points in lactometer test from earlier 24 points. What choice do we got but to pour the milk on the road,” questioned Sunamani Behera, a lady milk farmer from the city outskirts.
“We are farmers. Selling milk is our main source of income. Pouring away our money on the road doesn’t give us any pleasure. But, we are left with no other choice. OMFED has reduced procurement from us citing excess production at other places and has increased the density bar. The government is sleeping over our demands of including milk in mid day meal scheme, Mamata scheme and setting the minimum procurement price at Rs 30,” rued Dibakara Sahu, another farmer.