The State government move to bring about legislation to ensure the quality of cattle feed available in Kerala has widely been welcomed by the community of dairy farmers and experts in the sector.
“Cattle feed is a big business and unscrupulous elements have been exploiting the market situation, especially the shortage of raw materials, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this context, the move by the government to bring about a law to ensure quality is most welcome,” said a senior veterinarian. Minister for Animal Husbandry and Dairy Development K. Raju had said that the draft of the new law was ready and was meant to ensure the supply of quality feed in the State. The Minister was speaking in response to a query by Anoop Jacob, MLA, who sought measures both for giving subsidy to farmers in the wake of spiralling feed price and supply of quality feed in the State.
Mr. Jacob said on Thursday that he had a wide range of discussions with farmers, who expressed concern about the poor quality of feed available in the State. The constantly rising price was another issue, he added.
Sony Eeettakkan, dairy farmer and president of the Chakkampuzha Dairy Cooperative (Pala), said that the quality of most of the supplies in the market had deteriorated so much that farmers were now being forced to source inputs separately and mix in their own households to feed animals.
There are farmers who visit Tamil Nadu centres to source inputs on a regular basis. “This ensures quality feed as well as health of animals,” he said.
Dairy farmer and president of the Ernakualm Region Cooperative Milk Producers’ Union John Theruvath said that Milma was ensuring quality feed supplies and pointed to certain areas which needed attention to ensure that farmers got the best from the market.
Kerala Feeds Limited (KFL) and Milma are the key producers of cattle feed in the State. KFL capacity is 1,750 tonnes per day, while Milma produces 10 tonnes per day from its two plants. Milma accounts for about 30% of the feed market in Kerala, said an official of the cooperative.
A KFL official said that the company had facilities for testing raw materials as well as finished product at all its production sites in the State.