Smallholder dairy farmers hold demonstrations in Thyolo

Concerned smallholder dairy farmers on Thursday held protests in Thyolo saying the ongoing strike by truck drivers has greatly affected the milk business.

In an interview, leader for the concerned dairy farmers who is also the Chairman General for Shire Highlands Milk Production Association (SHIMPA) Saini Kapito said that currently they have nowhere to go with their milk since milk is failing to reach Lilongwe Dairy Company due to ongoing strike by truck drivers.

“We have decided to hold the demonstrations because our milk business has been affected by drivers’ strike in which government is failing to meet their demands. Because of that, we are losing money which we could have gained after selling milk, instead our milk is rotting for we have no means of transporting the milk to the buyers.

“If our petition will not be answered in the coming two, we will hold another demonstration and will go straight to Sanjika palace,” said Kapito.

Commenting on the matter, Thyolo District Commissioner Douglas Moffat said he has received the petition and will see how to deal with it saying it is a sad development to the dairy farmers and also the district as whole.

“This petition will reach intended authorities so as to tackle the issue at hand. Milk industry is creating jobs and income to those who lost their jobs due to Covid-19 pandemic.

“So I am assuring them that their grievances will be sorted out as soon as possible. Imagine these farmers are losing 26 litres of milk per day which is a huge loss,” said Moffat.

Since September 27, truck drivers have been strike demanding government to consider and improve their welfare.

The Thyolo farmers have so far lost 66 thousand litres of milk as trucks which were ferrying milk to Lilongwe Dairy were detained at Kameza roundabout by the striking truck drivers.

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