Kerala

State in the grip of a looming milk crisis

Milma’s TRCMPU forced to cut down production of toned milk (blue sachet) by 15%

Summer is still weeks away, yet a milk crisis is already looming over the State that has prompted the Kerala Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (Milma) to seek government intervention.

At present, the shortage is felt in Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam districts, forcing Milma’s Thiruvananthapuram Regional Cooperative Milk Producers’ Union Ltd. (TRCMPU) to cut down the production of toned milk (blue sachet) by 15%.

“Daily procurement under TRCMPU (covering Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta,and Alappuzha districts) that had stood at 3.68 lakh litres at this time last year has dipped to 3.2 lakh litres,” a senior official said. With the summer months constituting the annual lean period in milk procurement in the State, the current situation could worsen by March-April, affecting other districts as well, it is feared.

Abrupt reduction

Milma officials cited the abrupt reduction in supply from Karnataka and dip in production in the milk-surplus Malabar region as the immediate causes for the shortage. Milma procures around 12 lakh litres daily in the State. To fill the demand-supply gap, Milma purchases approximately 2.5 lakh litres of milk from the Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF).

However, KMF cut down supply to one lakh litres from February 1 citing shortages in Karnataka. Milma’s efforts to procure consignments from Tamil Nadu have failed. With the scenario threatening to turn bleaker, Milma has requested the State government to take up the matter with the Tamil Nadu government.

“Our procurement is currently confined to milk cooperatives. Supply from Karnataka has come down. We are not getting milk from Tamil Nadu. We may have to explore other options,” Milma chairman P.A. Balan said. “We may even have to procure from private players after ensuring quality,” he said, warning that the milk situation could worsen by March-April.

Meanwhile, attempts to address the issue by purchasing milk powder is not proving financially viable for the federation.

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Printable version | Apr 3, 2020 11:49:59 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/state-in-the-grip-of-a-looming-milk-crisis/article30777635.ece

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