Thursday, June 2, 2016
On milk tenderly ……….
Today is the day after ‘world Milk Day’.
For the people of this part of the world, Asia, milk is not just something drinkable or something nutritious. For them, Milk is about Customs, Traditions and Rituals and is something that people value as a symbol of prosperity. That is why the benefactors or well wishes do not forget to wish their friends and others ‘kiriyen peniyen ithirewa, May your life filled with Milk and Honey. They are not measured in rupees or in liters or justify always as something that the girls of fathers give for their son in laws as a dowry along with land or some bushels of paddy.
In the ancient society and even now, in some villages, communities, cattle are considered as a wealth indicator. In Hinduism cattle or the cow is a sacred animal and offering Milk for God Shiva and Pattini is an enormously valued custom.
Cattle farming are the main source of income for most of the families of the villages in many Districts. You find Milk collecting Centers, Samithis / CBO’s (community Based Organizations) set up for the sake of the diary / cattle farmer or of the improvement of the related industries.
Diary Industry is one of the most popular industries of the world that can earn a satisfactory profit from Milk directly or indirectly or from by products such as Milk powder, Yoghurt, Ghee, chees, chocolate etc.
I cannot think of a household that do not have any interest towards Milk.
Prices of Milk has become something inevitable in the budgetary readings as well. Prices of milk often become very decisive factor that directly or indirectly affects both governments and lives of people. I do not say that it has nothing to do with ‘tax’ or it is not an industry that governments release from charging taxes. If the entrepreneurs of the related industries have to pay big money as taxes that may directly affects not only the industry but also for the consumers.
Yet, Compared to other food items in the local and world market, milk is still something that villagers or townies can buy for a lesser price, if they directly by from the dairy farmers, local milk collecting centres, very before the containers full of milk reaches the factories and before processing it as ‘powdered milk or turn into another product.
Traditional farmers do not spend much money on cattle feed or to build shelters for them yet I cannot say that they do not have any expenses with regard to taking care of their cattle. I do not know whether the cattle famers get any of the things free of charge, or for a specially reduced price like the other agricultural farmers received fertilizer and pesticides in the recent past, not now. I guess now they get some money instead, the farmers have to purchase fertilizer and pesticides from private shop owners and I am not sure whether there are any centers or outlets maintain by governmental authorities for them to buy such necessities without going to private shops.
Some farmers, due to some of the reasons (practical and otherwise) prefer to get veterinary advice from non governmental units. And cattle feed, vaccinations from private clinics and shops. And I have heard some often complain that it is little difficult to meet relevant officers on time or in time of need their advice or help. I do not know whether that is because of lack of officers or officers are loaded with many related tasks.
Milk farmers that I know sell their milk to private sector because of the competitive prices they get from them.
According to my awareness, compared to farmer organizations involved in paddy cultivation, milk farmers’ organizations are not strong enough and do not regularly meet to address their issues. They do not accurately or effectively stand up for the issues they face when dealing with cattle farming. They often face tiny issues when representatives come to collect their milk. For example if the agent do not come to collect milk and if the farmers do not have proper facilities to refrigerate them, they have to throw milk with out earning any rupees.
I have seen some agents; companies have provided ‘refrigerators’ so that the farmers can store their milk without letting them spoiled. But for such equipment, the farmers have to pay money for the company.
Some farmers do not pay much attention towards building quality shelters that gives and help animals to stay away from infections, diseases, milking facilities, cleanliness of the areas, using cow dung for better purposes, for vegetable cultivation, paddy cultivation or some do not have accurate knowledge on dealing with their industry at household level. I assume that is because of lack of awareness or lack of programs aimed at raising their awareness on the subject related matters, Prices etc. Still, compared to past everything is comparatively satisfactory.
Yet, I have seen some farmers using modern technology when dealing with related activities and how kind they are to them.
Milk is not a simple topic but a vast subject with many facets and is something that can be discussed through a tiny page like this.
Wish you all consumers as well as the entire industry a strong , stable, milky future ………….