Based on inputs by Shahid
The Karnataka government is set to supply free milk to the poor amid the coronavirus lockdown, up till April 14. This is most likely due to the excess milk that is being produced in the state, which milk producers have to dispose it off or it will go to waste.
“We have decided to supply milk free of cost to the poor till April 14. The district administrations have been entrusted with making arrangements for it,” Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa said at a press briefing on Wednesday, after chairing a meeting of a group of ministers.
The large amount of milk being produced in Karnataka by cooperatives like Nandini is usually transported to other states, and sold to the hotel industry. However, all that has changed with the lockdown, which has closed state borders, and shuttered all establishments, including the hotel industry.
This means that large milk corporations are staring at an excess production of lakhs of litres of milk in Karnataka every day.
However, production cannot be stopped or slowed, and the cooperatives have no choice but to accept the milk from dairy farmers.
The CM conceded that the farmers have been caught in a dilemma due to the nationwide lockdown as they were not able to sell, harvest or transport their produce.
“I have given clear directions to the police to ensure the uninterrupted movement of essential goods in the state,” the Chief Minister said. BS Yediyurappa had said earlier that the farmers were able to transport their produce to other states but now it has stopped, owing to which the prices have crashed.