The Kushinagar Milk Producer Company is a disability inclusive FPO in Kasia, Kushinagar which was formed through a disability inclusive organic farming programme of CBM, implemented through PGSS in the region. This FPO has emerged as a redeemer amidst universal crisis – ‘The Covid-19 Pandemic’. During the lockdown citizens around the world are finding it arduous to obtain and accumulate basic amenities for their families. Our Kushinagar Milk Producer Company has pledged to ensure daily supply of milk and dairy products to the residents of Kushinagar District, in Uttar Pradesh.
Before the lockdown the FPO was collecting and processing around 700 – 750 litres of milk on a daily basis. Majority of the supply was to hotels and restaurants in Kushinagar as it is a major pilgrimage center for Buddhists across the world and has a number of high-end hotels & restaurants.
Post the Janta Curfew on 22nd March, 2020 the situation deteriorated for the FPO due to cancellation of orders from restaurants and wedding parties.
Due to this complete standstill the inward milk flow also decreased from 700 litres per day to 200 litres per day. The primary reason for this was that farmers were not able to travel to the milk collection centers. Considering the gravity of the situation representatives from PGSS (our local partners) met Mr. Abhishek Singh, IAS, Joint Magistrate, Kasia and requested him to issue passes for FPO staff for home delivery and permission to sell milk from its retail outlet
Ensuring social distancing during distribution and collection
The representatives from PGSS explained to the administration the concept of disability inclusive FPO & its relationship with farmers. Upon understanding the concept of inclusive FPO the administration readily agreed and provided passes to five staff members for milk supply & collection. As of today the FPO is collecting around 350 litres of milk from farmers and distributing it via home delivery. The FPO’s retail outlet is also active and maintaining mandated social distancing norms. There is a huge demand for the milk and the entire amount being collected is sold out within hours. “The FPO is ensuring that the persons with disabilities working at the unit are getting payment despite the prevalent issues. Also, the current milk collection is done majorly from farmers with disabilities ensuring them income even during this crisis”
The FPO is also in talks with district administration for obtaining permission to sell organic vegetables through its outlet in the city.