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Consumers suffer due to milk supply disruption

Staff Correspondent

Supply shortage of milk in the capital because of blockades has caused sufferings to the consumers especially children and elderly and ailing people.
As the supply chain has been disrupted, the milk producers across the country are either selling milk at very low prices at local markets or dumping in rivers, canals and ponds.
Usually the country’s major milk producers Milk Vita, BRAC and Pran-RFL supply nearly 5.5 lakh litres of milk a day across the country, but they are now supplying only about 1.2 to 2.8 lakh litres daily because of blockade and general strikes.
Many people were seen at different shops to fail to buy milk for their kids or elderly and ailing people in the recent days.
Ershad Hossain, a resident of Uttara, said that he could get no milk in the last one week at the local shops for his kids.
Tamanna, who failed to buy milk at a shop at Moghbazar, said she could not get milk from any shop in the area for the elderly people of the family.
Shopkeeper Mostafa Khan said there was a supply shortage of milk in the city.
Ahsanuddin, a milk producer at well known milk producing area Baghabari said that they could hardly sell milk at Tk 38 per litre to Bangladesh Milk Producers Cooperative Union Limited, widely known as Milk Vita, once or twice in a week during the recent blockade and general strikes.
The farmers are selling milk at different local markets or shops at Tk 28-29 a litre.
Porzena Primary Milk Cooperative Association of Baghabari president Bablu said that they sold milk at Tk 20-25 and most of them had to dump unsold milk in rivers, canals and ponds.
Milk Vita Baghabari manager Idris Ali said that they were collecting milk from farmers and producing milk powder but due to blockade most of the time they were not supplying milk in fear of losing expensive tankers.
Every day, farmers across the country sell around 2.5 lakh litres of milk to state-run cooperative dairy Milk Vita, on Saturday it supplied only1,60,300 litres of liquid milk across the country with the help of local administration because of blockade.
Although during strike and blockade the supply chain is disrupted, the situation improves on days when there is no such programme, the milk producers said.
Milk Vita collected and supplied milk almost smoothly on Friday, as there was no blockade or strike, but from Saturday their supply chain was disrupted with the fresh spell of blockade, said Milk Vita managing director Muhammad Munir Chowdhury.
He told New Age that during the recent political programmes Milk Vita topped the supply to some areas completely because of lack of security, but it started supplying and distributing liquid milk again with risk.
He urged all political parties and the opposition leader to keep milk-carrying vehicles out of the purview of political programme considering milk as baby food and diet for patients.
Another leading entrepreneur in the country’s dairy sector, Brac Dairy assistant manager (sales) Mesbah Uddin Ahmed said at present they were supplying only 70,000 litres of milk though usually they supplied 1.5 lakh litres a day.
PRAN-RFL Group director (marketing) Kamruzzaman Kamal said that usually they supplied 1.5 lakh litres of milk across the country, but now they were supplying only 50, 000 litres a day with the help of local administration.

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