The LDF government in Kerala on Sunday said it was concerned over the entry into the state of milk and milk products of popular Karnataka brand Nandini and asserted that it would strongly oppose the move.
State Minister for Animal Husbandry, Dairy Development and Milk Cooperatives J Chinchurani said Kerala has given a complaint to the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) to resolve the issue.
“Any further steps will be taken by us after NDDB holds discussions with Nandini,” the minister told a TV channel.
She said the state government expects Nandini to withdraw its decision to sell its milk and milk products in Kerala after intervention of the Centre in the matter.
The minister said both Nandini, the trade name used by the Karnataka Milk Marketing Federation (KMMF), and Kerala Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation’s (KCMMF) Milma are government-run organisations and therefore, when going to another state, that state’s permission ought to have been taken.
On the issue of Nandini selling milk at rates much lower, around Rs 7 lesser, than that of Milma, the minister said it was not possible.
She said that earlier when Kerala had a milk shortage, Nandini milk was sold here with permission of Karnataka government and back then its rates were not low.
On being asked about the dairy farmers’ stand on the issue, the minister said many have got in touch with the government and said only Milma should operate in Kerala.
Ms Chinchurani also dismissed any possibility of Nandini collecting milk from dairy farmers in Kerala, saying that there are enough dairy organisations functioning under the cooperative law in the state and they all supply milk to Milma.
“Moreover, we have been helping the dairy farmers, through subsidies and increasing the price of milk when required, and have many other helpful schemes lined up for them in the future,” she said.
In April last year, KCMMF had termed as “unethical” the tendency of some state milk marketing federations to aggressively enter markets outside their respective states.
It was criticising the KMMF’s move of opening its outlets in parts of Kerala to sell its Nandini brand of milk and other products.
Milma, back then, had said this involved a total breach of cooperative spirit based on which the country’s dairy sector has been organised for the benefit of millions of dairy farmers.
Such practices from any side will jeopardise the spirit of cooperative principles that have been nurtured for long by mutual consent and goodwill, it had said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)