_ Raw materials required for preparing the cattle feeder purchased from the States outside Goa
_ The Board of Directors clears suppliers’ bills on the condition that they supply low-quality raw materials but submit the bill for high-quality feed
_ The margin that remains is divided between the members of the Board panel
_ Decided to resign since we could not tolerate the day-to-day corruption going on in front of our eyes
_Goa Dairy never motivates the farmers to grow the fodder
CURTI (PONDA): Recently resigned Goa Dairy Board Director Anup Desai alleged the Goa State Cooperative Milk Producers Union Board, popularly known as the Goa Dairy, is involved in illegality and corruption of Goa Dairy cattle feeder raw material which is being supplied to this Dairy from outside States.
Alleging this, Desai said, Raw materials required for preparing the cattle feeder must be purchased from the States outside Goa.
“The Board of Directors clears suppliers’ bills on the condition that they supply low-quality raw materials but submit the bill pertaining to the high-quality feed. The margin that remains is divided between the members of the Board panel”, he alleged.
He also alleged, “The panel refused to consider our suggestion of temporary shutting of cattle feeder plant which we had made to bring about positive changes in affairs of Goa Dairy.”
“They never agreed to temporarily shutting this plant as their vested interest exists, ” he said.
Adding further, Desai said, “We decided to resign since we could not tolerate the day-to-day corruption going on in front of our eyes”, he said.
Citing various reasons behind losses incurred by dairy farmers due to frequent rises in prices of cattle feeders, Sanket Joshi, a dairy farmer from Valpoi, alleged the authorities of Goa Dairy were involved in corruption.
He said, “Goa Dairy never motivates the farmers to grow the fodder or take up the project of growing their own fodder within the State but prioritize purchasing the fodder from outside States. The fodder which is imported from outside can be produced in State itself and sold to the farmers at a lower price.”
He said this initiative, if taken by the government, will not only boost the entry of youth into dairy farming but also generate self-employment.
“However, the authorities will never give a green signal to this since they won’t be able to earn extra if fodder is grown on their own”, he alleged.
Refuting allegations Chairman Rajesh Phaldessai said, “It is easy to put allegations on others but difficult to bring about the necessary changes by remaining in the system. Recent resignations are perfect supporting examples”, he added.
Phaldessai refuted the allegations by stating that not many people come forward to claim the dairy subsidies given by the government. He also informed that although Goa Dairy has raised the prices of cattle feed by Rs 4 per kg, they have also increased the procurement rate to Rs 3-4 per kg depending on the fat level of raw milk.
Phaldessai said that after taking over the charge from Administration, the sale of Dairy milk per day had reached 57,000 litres from 40,000 litres.
Phaldessai said the recently resigned Board of Directors, as a measure to maintain the profit/ no profit no loss condition of Goa Dairy, has suggested that the cattle feeder plant be closed down until recuperation. “Shutting down the plant doesn’t seem to be a good recovery measure”.
Adding further, Phaldessai said, “Once, we had shut the ice cream plant for similar reasons, but it couldn’t be brought back into operation. If shut at this stage, a cattle feeder plant will land into a similar problem. Shutting a plant is never a solution. Instead, the efforts should be made to bring Goa dairy into profit by using some other means”.
According to Phaldessai, retaining dairy farmers is the biggest challenge faced by Goa Dairy.
Yet another farmer Bhago Varak from Suktalem, called the initiative of giving subsidies an eyewash and a stop-gap arrangement that is not enough to improve the situation.
Bhago added that government should hike the procurement price of milk to retain dairy farmers.
He said the farmers who are into dairying have started selling their cattle since the business of dairying has turned out to be economically unviable due to delay-delay tactics of the government in disbursing the incentives, subsidies and others.
Adding further, he said the rise in cattle feed prices and fodder has put dairy farmers in a deplorable situation. “The milk procurement prices have increased, but at the same time, the fodder prices are also raised. This nullifies the gain. Also, the non-punctuality of the government in disbursing incentives and subsidies further adds to the deplorable situation.
Joshi said, “Goa dairy might have increased the procurement rate, but at the same time, they have also hiked the fodder prices. They purchase the milk by paying peanuts to a dairy farmer while processing and selling the same milk at more than double the rate. How is their claim of an increase in procurement price benefiting the dairy farmers even valid?” he asked.
Sukdo Gaude, a dairy farmer from Keri, demanded that the government step in to provide an incentive for milk being procured in the organized sector. “Besides, the government should further offer subsidies for cattle feed and disburse the incentives on time”, he added.
It can be recalled that two Goa Dairy Board of Directors, Madhav Sahakari and Anup Desai, had recently resigned from their post, citing the reason for frequent rejections received over the suggestions they have given to improve the affairs related to Goa Dairy.