The Tamil Nadu Government has rejected a business proposal to supply one lakh litres of Aavin milk daily to the Sri Lankan military, Indian Minister for Dairy Development, K.T. Rajenthra Bhalaji said.
“The proposal came to the government through a private agency here. But Chief Minister, Edappadi K. Palaniswami has rejected it as the people of Tamil Nadu would not like milk to be supplied to the Lankan military that has killed lakhs of Tamils,” Bhalaji said, according to The Hindu newspaper.
However, another proposal for supplying milk to parlours in areas like Jaffna and Batticaloa, where Tamils live in large numbers, is under consideration. “We are ready to supply Aavin milk to the common people of Sri Lanka, including Sinhalese,” Bhalaji said.
Official-level talks are under way for supplying one lakh litres daily to these parlours, he added.
Meanwhile, milk procurement by Aavin has increased significantly during the lockdown, the Minister said. He said the procurement by Aavin used to be around 32 lakh to 35 lakh litres per day, and had increased to up to 42 lakh litres.
“Private players have shut shop in many areas and are not buying milk during the lockdown. However, Aavin officials and employees braced all the threat and continued to buy milk from farmers,” he added.
“Despite an increase of around 4 lakh litres a day of consumption in Chennai, we still we get around 6 lakh litres of excess milk. We do not refuse to buy milk despite having surplus, in the interest of the milk producers,” Mr. Bhalaji said.
The surplus milk is being used to make milk powder, paneer and other by-products. Aavin paneer has got a good demand in Delhi. “Medical reports state that protein-rich paneer is good for health,” he said.
Despite the COVID-19 crisis, export of milk to Hong Kong and Singapore has continued. “This reflects the high quality of Aavin milk,” Mr. Bhalaji said. (Colombo Gazette)