Wayanad Dairy Farmers Grapple with Dilemma Amidst Karnataka’s Fodder Ban

Karnataka govt. bans transportation of fodder from drought-affected districts to other districts and outside the State, adversely affecting dairy farmers in Wayanad. KCMMF stopped subsidised green maize distribution in October

A recent order of the Karnataka government to ban the transportation of fodder, including green maize forage, from Karnataka to Kerala has put thousands of dairy farmers in Wayanad, a major dairy farming region of the State, in a fix.

“Thousands of farmers in Malabar region, especially in Wayanad district, depend on the neighbouring districts of Karnataka for fodder like green maize, green grass and hay to feed their cattle,” says B.P. Benny, president, of the Wayanad Primary Milk Societies’ Association. However, the Karnataka government issued an order on November 22 prohibiting transportation of fodder from drought-affected districts of Karnataka to other districts or outside the State, Mr. Benny added.

“The Karnataka government also hopes to increase milk production in that State through the restriction,” he said.

The farmers in Wayanad were procuring green maze at ₹5 per kg from agents who procured it from Karnataka, A. Saseendran, a dairy farmer at Panamaram, said. Earlier, Kerala Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (KCMMF), known by the brand Milma, had been providing green maze and green fodder bought from Karnataka at a subsidised rate, but it stopped the distribution from October, he added.

Seeking intervention

“More than 100 tonnes of green maize used to be transported to Wayanad each day and it was a great help to the dairy farming community. Dairying is not a lucrative business now owing to the increasing price of cattle feed and low farm gate price of milk. The dearth of green fodder will adversely affect the farmers at the beginning of summer and it will lead to a drastic fall in milk production, Mr. Benny said. Hence a quick intervention of the state government was the need of the hour,” Mr. Benny said.

Meanwhile, T. Siddique, MLA sought the intervention of Minister for Animal Husbandry and Dairy Development J. Chinju Rani to address the issue. In a representation to the Minister, Mr. Siddique said that Karnataka had banned the transportation of fodder to the State and the situation will affect thousands of dairy farmers in the district as most of them were depending on the produce from Karnataka.

Source: The Hindu