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Odisha govt announces COVID assistance package for dairy farmers

Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik announced a COVID assistance package of ₹11 crores for 120,000 dairy farmers.
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On Thursday, 24th June, Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik announced a COVID assistance package totalling 11 crores for 120,000 dairy farmers, registered under Odisha State Cooperative Milk Producers Federation (OMFED).

He said that only agriculture and allied sectors were keeping the economy stable during the COVID pandemic, while other sectors declined.

Dairy farmers of the state faced turmoil when OMFED cut down milk procurement from about 5.45 lakh litre a day to 2-3.75 lakh litres a day during the lockdown due to low demand. Many dairy farmers said that there was a distress sale of dairy-based products like cheese, ghee and curd. Their demand fell down substantially as the shops remaining closed due to lockdown restrictions.

The Odisha State Cooperative Milk Producers Federation (OMFED) is the top body of milk producers and other cooperative unions in the state.

“Dairy farming plays an important role in the rural economy and is especially helpful in the livelihoods of small and marginal farmers. A large decline in the demand for milk and dairy products due to the Covid pandemic has seriously affected the livelihoods of dairy farmers,” Patnaik said, explaining the motive behind the assistance package.

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