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COVID-19 Kerala: 80,000 litres of milk poured in drain as protest!

Thursday, April 2, 2020 • Malayalam Comments

COVID-19 Kerala: 80,000 litres of milk poured in drain as protest!

With the Covid19 outbreak, the scenario in Kerala's milk market now has turned upside down. Thousands of dairy farmers are in dire straits after Tamil Nadu stopped accepting milk from Kerala citing a large number of coronavirus positives in the state. Due to this, the farmers in different parts of Palakkad district had poured around 80,000 litres of milk into the drain on Wednesday.

"We have no other option but to pour the milk in the drains as all tea shops and restaurants are closed, besides Tamil Nadu has stopped all lorries coming with milk to their state, on the grounds of COVID-19, here," said a farmer who drained the milk as a protest. 

kerala farmerLalitha who received the state award for the best milch farmer three years ago said, "Pouring milk on the ground was a heart-rending sight. I have around 140 cows of which 60 are milch cows. I milk around 330 litres in the morning and 250 litres in the evening. I immediately sent a person to Kunnamkulam to purchase a cream separator machine after getting permission from the local police station. At least the cream could be utilised." 

kerala farmerThe Malabar Regional Co-operative Milk Producers Union (MRCMPU) of the state-owned MILMA could not procure the excess milk as the federation was unable to sell all of it because of the closure of hotels and restaurants as part of the lockdown. The Malabar union procures around six lakh litres of milk per day. Palakkad produces the highest number with 2.10 lakh litres. But in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, the union could market only three lakh litres per day.

Their normal practice is to carry the excess milk to nearby Tamil Nadu where there are plants that convert milk into milk powder. However, in Kerala, there is only one such plant, in Alappuzha, that was closed down. At that time, Kerala had no surplus milk to make it into powder. 

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