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Milk crisis: State seeks T.N. help

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Kerala is looking to Tamil Nadu for milk supplies to address an unexpected shortage that has hit the Kerala Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd (Milma) in the run-up to the 2020 summer. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had agreed to take up the matter with his Tamil Nadu counterpart Edappadi K. Palaniswami, Animal Husbandry Minister K. Raju said on Friday.Milma is eyeing a daily supply of one lakh litres from Tamil Nadu to tide over the looming crisis. Milma managing director Patil Suyog Subhashrao will meet representatives of the Tamil Nadu Cooperative Milk Producers’ Federation Limited (Aavin) in Chennai on Monday. Milma procures approximately 12 lakh litres daily. The demand-supply gap was being met by supplies from the Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF). However, KMF had capped the supply at one lakh litres from February 1, leaving Milma in a fix.“We are in talks with Tamil Nadu. This is a precautionary measure to avert a crisis. We are giving priority to procurement from the milk federation in Tamil Nadu. Milk purchases from private players will be a last resort,” the Animal Husbandry Minister told The Hindu. “We may need supplies for one or even two months,” he said.Meanwhile, Milma is exploring the possibility of procuring an additional 50,000 litres from Karnataka. The request has been placed before the Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF), Milma chairman P. A. Balan said. “After the reduction in supply from Karnataka, we are now getting around 95,000 litres a day. This plus supplies from Tamil Nadu should help us fill the demand-supply gap in the State,” Mr. Balan said. Top Milma officials, including the chairman, managing director and heads of three regional milk producers unions, had met the Animal Husbandry Minister on Thursday to discuss the situation. Subsequently, the Dairy Development Secretary had written to his Tamil Nadu counterpart requesting help.The dip in supply has forced the Thiruvananthapuram Regional Cooperative Milk Producers Union (TRCMPU) to slash production of its toned milk (blue sachet) by 15%.

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