Odisha dairy farmers spill milk on streets after state cooperative cites ‘adulteration’
Dozens of farmers in the coastal Odisha district of Bhadrak poured about 2000 litres of milk on the streets after state-owned Odisha State Cooperative Milk Producers Federation (OMFED) reportedly refused to accept the milk citing ‘adulteration’.
Last evening, dairy farmers of Basudevpur block of Bhadrak district arrived with their cans of milk to a chilling plant operated by Omfed authorities.”The Omfed official said that the milk did not conform to their standard. We were not prepared and hence had no other way than to pour the milk on the streets. We were never told in the past about out milk being of sub-standard quality,” said dairy farmer Sanatan Barik. The Basudevpur plant takes around 15,000 litres of milk from dairy farmers in the area every day.
This morning, as more farmers arrived, the Omfed officials did not receive the milk citing the same reason and forcing the farmers to spill more milk on the streets. In less than 12 hours, over 2000 litres of milk was spilled on the road turning it white for some time.
Managing Director of OMFED, Vishal Gagan said the dairy farmers of Bhadrak are well aware of the quality of milk that Omfed accepts. “There have been reports of farmers adding sugar and other such things to the milk before bringing it to the chilling plant. When we tested it we could clearly detect the adulteration. The dairy farmers are also sending the milk through some agents instead coming to the chilling plant themselves,” Gagan said. He said he had sent his officials to inquire and submit a report on it.
Though Omfed earlier procured milk from all milk producer societies, the souring of milk and a decline in quality of some of its milk products like curd, forced the organization to tighten quality control. Omfed is currently not procuring milk above 29 point density, though it used to procure milk within a range of 24-29 point density in lactometer test earlier.
In May 2016, dairy farmers of Bargarh district had staged a similar protest spilling over 14,000 litres of milk when Omfed refused to accept their milk over similar allegations of adulteration. The farmers opened the valve of an Omfed tanker that carried 6000 litres of milk draining its entire contents.