Dairy major GCMMF, which sells products under the Amul brand, said it has taken all necessary steps to pay its milk producer members directly into their bank accounts.
Already, 60% of its milk producer members have bank accounts and the cooperative is taking steps to open new ones for those who do not have at present, it said. “In view of the demonetization of currency notes by central government, we have made necessary arrangement to pay milk producer members for their milk price through direct credit in their bank account,” Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) Chairman Jethabhai Patel said.
About 60% of milk producers already have bank accounts, “but, due to some vested interests, the payment was made in cash”, he said in a statement.
The cooperative is in the process of opening bank accounts of those milk producers who do not have them at present, he said, adding that GCMMF has asked all dairy unions to help farmers open their accounts in the next couple of months.
GCMMF and its 18 associated milk unions are paying around Rs 450 crore on a weekly basis to 36 lakh milk producers through 18,500 milk cooperatives in Gujarat, Patel added.
Noting that rural milk producers are facing shortage of cash due to demonetization of currency notes and restriction by RBI on District Cooperative Banks, Patel said, “However, central and state governments have made alternative arrangements with the help of RBI for cash disbursement through District Cooperative Banks to milk producers.” This will definitely help milk producers meet their daily expenses related to animal husbandry and other requirements, he hoped.
Patel also said there has been no impact of demonetization of currency notes on milk procurement and sale of milk in the market so far. “In fact, milk procurement of member unions of GCMMF has increased,” he added.
The cooperative has nearly 60 processing plants, of which 40 are in Gujarat only. There are 18 member unions of GCMMF associated with more than 36 lakh farmers across 18,600 villages of Gujarat.