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Odisha Government Announces Compensation Package for Dairy Farmers Affected By Lockdown

Chintu Das
Chintu Das
Dairy Farmer

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday, announced a Covid support package worth Rs 11 crore for 120,000 dairy farmers registered with the state's largest milk procurement group, the Odisha State Cooperative Milk Producers Federation (OMFED). The initiative will provide each farmer with a maximum of Rs 6,000 to purchase fodder. 

While practically every other sector of the economy was in disarray, Patnaik said that agriculture and related industries were keeping the economy afloat during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Dairy farmers were impacted badly during the state-wide lockdown amid the second wave of Covid-19, when OMFED, the state's top organization of milk producers and other cooperative unions, reduced milk procurement from roughly 5.45 lakh litres a day to 2-3.75 lakh litres a day due to low demand. 

With businesses remaining closed with lockdown restrictions forcing distress sales, sales of dairy-based products like cheese, ghee, and curd have also decreased significantly, according to some dairy farmers. 

 “Dairy farming contributes significantly to the rural economy, particularly for small and marginal farmers. The Covid epidemic has resulted in a significant drop in demand for milk and dairy products, which has had a significant impact on dairy farmers' livelihoods,” Patnaik explained, explaining the rationale behind the support plan. 

Previously, on the 17th of this month, Chief minister Naveen Patnaik launched Covid-19 package worth Rs 1,690 crore that would help landless farmers, construction workers, urban poor, food security beneficiaries, MGNREGS workers and tribes of the state. 

CM announced the program, saying that while the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted the financial situation of many parts of society, however, the socially and economically deprived have been hit the hardest. 

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