Jun 16, 2018

Milco owes nearly Rs. 700m to dairy farmers Featured

Milco (Pvt) Ltd. is yet to pay around 500,000 dairy farmers their due for a period of three months, reports say.

According, the outstanding amount had skyrocketed from Rs. 450m on May 15 to nearly Rs. 700m by June 15.

At the present, Milco purchases a litre of milk from farmers at a price of Rs. 60.

Last week, dairy farmers from around the island held a protest demonstration in front of the Ministry of Livestock & Rural Community Development.

The farmers also accuse the ministry of importing milch cows that are sick.

Speaking recently, National Organizer of the National Center for the Protection of Dairy Farmers Susantha Kumara Navaratne said, "During the seven years until 2017 Dec. 31, a staggering US $ 43,023,637 has been spent to import milch cows without complying with the properly formulated national plan."

He added that even the Auditor General report had proved that this project, which was initiated at a cost of Rs. 7.9 billion had not yielded proper results.

He further accused Basil Rajapaksa, Arumugam Thondaman and present minister P. Harrison of filling their pockets when importing these cows.

He also accused that the ministry was now trying to palm off these sick milch cows to farmers at a price of Rs. 240,000 each.

While urging authorities to uphold the dairy farm industry, Mr. Navaratne said they will arrive at the ministry soon to settle the matter.