Ganderbal: Dairy farmers of Lar area in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district are dumping hundreds of litres of milk down the drain every day since last month due to a dip in demand.
According to the dairy farmers in Repora village of Lar tehsil here, which is one of the highest milk producing villages, plummeting demand for milk during the last one month has forced them to dump hundreds of litres of milk in drains, implying huge losses to farmers.
Farmers said a number of people in the area had taken dairy farming as entrepreneurship after taking loans from the government, however, the present situation has brought miseries and financial losses.
“For the past one month, we are selling only 40 percent of the milk. There are no buyers as the demand has decreased abruptly due to unknown reasons,” they said.
“We are unable to figure out the reasons whether it is due to COVID-19 situation, the supply of packed milk from outside or anything else,” said Bashir Ahmad, a dairy farmer.
Zamrooda, another dairy farmer said that she has 20 cows and her inability to sell milk has hit her livelihood. The cows are on the verge of starvation, she said adding “ I don’t have money to buy fodder for cows. I earn by selling milk, feed my family and cows. Now I’m dumping 60 percent of the milk produced every day,” she said.
Turned away from various dairy plants, dozens of farmers decided to dump milk and emptied vessels in a drain. Farmers say it’s painful to throw milk away but they have been left with no option.
“We don’t know how we and our cows will survive in such a situation. We appeal to the LG administration to intervene and save us and our cows,” said Nasir Ahmad.
Farmers say educated youth have chosen dairy farming as a means of employment but because of lockdown and no access to the market, many are forced to sell their cows now.
“I spent over Rs 300-500 to feed a cow daily. How can I feed her if I can’t sell milk? I have taken a loan from a bank and set up my dairy farm. The government should intervene and come to our rescue,” said another dairy farmer.
Farmers said that they approached the animal husbandry officials, district Administration Ganderbal about the issue however they have been given no assurances about any help so far.
They complained that the officials are sending them from one corner to another.