Hundreds of dairy farmers under the Ernakulam Regional Cooperative Milk Producers’ Union (ERCMPU) have been hit by heavy winds and rains in recent days. ERCMPU chairman John Theruvath said the Paniyeli milk primary cooperative was one of the hardest hit, with its building having been extensively damaged in rains at the end of March.
Mr. Theruvath said an assessment of the damage would be made, and support would be extended by ERCMPU. The Dairy Development department’s help will also be sought.
The regional union comprises farmers in Thrissur, Ernakulam, Kottayam and Idukki districts. The regional cooperative distributed around ₹8 lakh to 28 farmers at Koottikkal in Kottayam district, where farmers suffered extensive losses in landslips and rains last year.
There are 930 primary cooperatives under ERCMPU, under which there are nearly 50,000 dairy farmers. Mr. Theruvath said the damage sustained by farmers and primary cooperatives would be assessed to provide them support.
The regional milk union, said Mr. Theruvath, had distributed ₹7 crore to farmers in incentives during 2021-22 despite the pandemic situation. Over the last two months, he said, around ₹5.5 crore had been provided as additional milk price to cooperatives and farmers. Milk procurement by the regional union now stands at 3.5 litres a day, while sales are around 4.25 litres per day.
Meanwhile, the number of milk-based products from the regional union has gone up to 69 with the launch of four new flavours of ice-cream here on Monday by Minister for Dairy Development J. Chinchurani.
The new products are expected to give a major boost to the market share of Milma in the region and also help it realise better income, the incentives for which can be passed on to farmers, Mr. Theruvath added.