The CM’s letter comes two days after TNIE reported details of Amul’s plans in TN.
CHENNAI: A month after the Congress voiced stiff opposition to Amul’s entry into the Karnataka market where state-owned Nandini is involved in milk distribution, the ruling DMK has responded in a similar fashion to the Gujarat milk federation’s decision to procure milk in Tamil Nadu.
On Thursday, Chief Minister MK Stalin wrote to Union Home Minister Amit Shah urging him to direct Amul to desist from procuring milk in TN with immediate effect. Amul is a brand of the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF).
Stalin said milk procurement in the milk shed area of state-owned Aavin in TN would result in “unhealthy competition” between cooperatives procuring and marketing milk and milk products. The CM’s letter comes two days after TNIE reported details of Amul’s plans in TN.
Amul assured incentives and timely payment
Amul plans to offer dairy farmers in TN a higher procurement price, along with incentives, compared to Aavin. Stalin said Amul’s decision goes against the spirit of Operation White Flood and will exacerbate problems for consumers given the prevailing milk shortage in the country. “It has been a norm in India to let cooperatives thrive without infringing on each other’s milk-shed area.
This act of Amul infringes on Aavin’s milk shed area, which has been nurtured in true cooperative spirit over decades,” said Stalin. He added that regional cooperatives have been the bedrock of dairy development in states and they are better placed to engage and nurture producers and cushion consumers from arbitrary price hikes.
On behalf of the GCMMF, the Kaira District Cooperative Milk Producers Union (KDCMP), one of the oldest district unions in the country, procures milk in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and few other states.
Using the multi-state cooperative license issued in Andhra, the union has recently installed chilling centres and a processing plant in TN’s Krishnagiri district. It had also planned to procure milk through farmer-producer organisations (FPOs) and self-help groups in Tamil Nadu. In addition to a procurement price higher by Rs 2 per litre compared to Aavin, Amul representatives have assured dairy farmers of additional incentives and timely payment.
Operating under the umbrella of the Aavin cooperative, established in 1981, 9,673 cooperative societies of milk producers currently operate in rural areas. These societies collectively procure approximately 35 lakh litres of milk each day from around 4.5 lakh members.