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GWALAS ON MEETING NEW MILK FAT & SNF CRITERIA SAYS “EASILY DONE”

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Gwalas welcomes new milk procurement rate. Newly formed Sikkim Gwala Welfare Forum (SGWF) has welcomed the announcement of Rs. 40 per litre as minimum milk procurement rate by Chief Minister P.S. Golay starting March 1.


The Chief Minister on Tuesday announced that the Sikkim Milk Union would be procuring milk from dairy farmers at minimum rate of Rs. 40 besides the incentive of Rs. 8 per litre. The declaration came amidst row over the cut down in milk procurement rate by Sikkim Milk Union earlier this month along with new criteria of 3.5% fat and 7.5% SNF (solid non-fat) to improve the milk quality.


The milk rate issue had also led to formation of SGWF as a representative body of dairy farmers and milk producers’ cooperative societies. After a meeting, one chief coordinator and 13 coordinators of Gwalas were nominated and tasked to represent the issues of dairy farmers with the State government and Sikkim Milk Union.

Gwalas Chief Coordinator Shares


Speaking to media here on Wednesday, SGWF (gwalas) chief coordinator D.R. Giri shared that there are around 15,000 dairy farmers in Sikkim. If we add a minimum of four members in one dairy farming family then there are 60,000 persons in Sikkim who was directly affected by the decrease in milk procurement rates, he said.


“We took up the grievances of the dairy farmers and sought withdrawal of the milk rate reduction order during our meetings with Animal Husbandry minister Lok Nath Sharma and the Sikkim Milk Union managing director.

We were preparing to meet the Chief Minister but it was a matter of happiness for us when he on Tuesday announced Rs. 40 per litre as minimum procurement rate from March.

We welcome that the grievances of the dairy farmers were addressed promptly within 24 hours of us taking up the issue,” said Giri.


The SGWF thanked the Chief Minister, the Animal Husbandry minister and the Sikkim Milk Union for giving relief to the dairy farmers.

To a question, Giri shared that earlier minimum rate was Rs. 41 per litre. He mentioned though there is a loss of Rs. 1, the dairy farmers also have to understand the compulsions of the Sikkim Milk Union.

Our dairy farmers have got a relief from the government, this new rate was not possible due to compulsions but despite this, the government is giving Rs. 40 per litre as minimum rate which is acceptable to the gwalas, he said.

Press Interaction Details


It was shared that now a dairy farmer is guaranteed Rs. 48 (with the incentive) per litre of milk. The highest a farmer can get is around Rs. 70 per litre depending on the fat and SNF quality.


The press interaction was also addressed by coordinators Upen Silal, Pranita Pradhan, Laxuman Sharma and Arjun Rai.


On the Chief Minister’s appeal for improving the quality of milk, the SGWF coordinators maintained that it is not challenging to increase the fat content and SNF percentage to the stipulated 3.5% and 7.5% respectively.


“Our dairy farmers have discussed this issue and they are confident of meeting the new quality criteria. It can be done easily. Milk quality can be enhanced in many ways including providing mixture cattle feed.

The forum will work with Animal Husbandry department and Sikkim Milk Union on sensitizing and training our dairy farmers on how they can improve the milk quality.

There are other issues as well which the forum would be taking up with the concerned agencies,” said the coordinators.


The coordinators also maintained that the dairy farmers are not supplying substandard milk to Sikkim Milk Union.

“There are certain parameters that are measured at the milk collection booths and if the milk does not meet the criteria, the milk is rejected by the system at the booth itself.

No low quality milk or milk mixed with water goes to Sikkim Milk Union processing plant,” they said.

ALSO READ : SIKKIM CM ANNOUNCES RS. 40 PER LITRE AS NEW MINIMUM RATE FOR MILK PROCUREMENT

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