Bengaluru

Dairy farmers are up in arms against anti-adulteration move

Sources in the Karnataka Milk Federation say that the adulteration drive has been launched to prevent some farmers from adding water to milk to boost quantity.— File Photo: M.A. Sriram

Sources in the Karnataka Milk Federation say that the adulteration drive has been launched to prevent some farmers from adding water to milk to boost quantity.— File Photo: M.A. Sriram  

3.5 p.c. fat and 8.5 p.c. Solid Not Fat in milk is mandatory

An anti-adulteration move by the milk unions has dairy farmers up in arms in Kolar and Chickballapur districts, who are now seeking withdrawal of the circular that seeks to meet the criteria laid down by the Food Safety and Quality Control Act.

A minimum of 3.5 per cent fat and 8.5 per cent Solid Not Fat (SAF) in the milk is mandated by the Act, which the circular has cited and has asked the milk cooperative societies that procure milk directly from farmers not to accept the milk if found wanting. It has also informed the societies that such farmers will not be eligible for Rs. 4 incentive per litre given by the government.

However, the Karnataka Prantha Raitha Sangha and the Haalu Utpadakara Horata Samiti in Kolar and Chickballapur districts have termed this circular as anti-farmer and have decided to stage a protest against it on August 18.

Farmers are aware that milk quality will fetch fair rate and is necessary to stay in the competitive market, KPRS State vice-president G.C. Bayya Reddy told The Hindu .

He, however, expressed apprehension about how the dairy farmers could maintain quality of the feeds and nutrients they were provided by KMF were not up to the mark. “The quality of the feeds and nutrient mixtures for the cattle should be improved first. Then the government can expect good quality of milk”, he said, adding that unilateral imposition of quality standard will harm the interests of farmers.

Sources in the Karnataka Milk Federation said that the adulteration drive was to prevent some farmers from adding water to milk to boost quantity. “There have been instances where fat content in the milk has come down with some farmers adding water. In some instances, it has been found that these non-member farmers use the membership of others to provide milk to societies,” sources said.

The problem became serious in the last three weeks after the milk unions procured latest adulteration detection equipment, which some farmers have opposed, an official of the Bangalore Milk Union said, adding that now the unions have to submit monthly compliance report.

Milk procurement up

Meanwhile, the KMF is also reporting a daily average procurement of milk going up to 73 lakh kilograms , a record of sorts the federation officials say, and add that stricter norms need to be in place to ensure milk quality.

“The procurement of milk has increased not only because it is a flush season, but also many farmers are turning towards KMF since remuneration from private milk dairies have become unattractive. To make the most, some farmers have also been found to be diluting milk with water,” sources said.

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Printable version | Apr 6, 2020 1:50:47 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/dairy-farmers-are-up-in-arms-against-antiadulteration-move/article7453977.ece

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