Dairy farmers want fresh milk price hike

MALAYSIA - The dairy farmers in Sabah are asking Sabah International Dairies Sdn Bhd (Sadar) for an increase in the price of fresh milk bought from them, which has remained the same at RM1 per litre for the past 26 years since the State's dairy farming project began.
calendar icon 16 January 2007
clock icon 2 minute read
Sabah Dairy Farmers Association Secretary, Gerald Ramsay Baxter, said this is due the more than 100 per cent increase in production cost, especially over the past few years. "The prices of feed, fuel, wages and so on have all increased. Only the price of fresh milk bought from the dairy farmers has not increasedÉeven the price of a one-litre bottle of mineral water has gone up to RM1.20 now," he said.

In order to produce milk, one cow needs around 50kg of grass and 8kg of concentrate per day, said Gerald. "Grass costs RM0.05/kg while concentrate costs RM1.15/kg. And this does not include the wages, electricity, water, fuel, transport and other operational costsÉhow can the dairy farmers earn any profit?

"Not only that, farmers have to deal with floods, drought and other difficulties. If the farmers do not rear dairy cows to produce the milk, then where will the milk come from? If there is no milk, what is there for the factory to produce? There would be no factory without the farmers." And this would result in the Government having to import more milk to meet the demand in the country, said Gerald, adding it is important for the farmers to survive and make a decent living if the dairy industry is to continue to develop.

"The Government has spent a lot of money for the development of the dairy industry in Sabah. They have also assisted in speeding up the payment process to the farmers and the farmers appreciate all the efforts the Government has put in to help the farmers and the dairy industry as a whole. "However, there is no point for the Government to keep working so hard to develop the dairy industry if the farmers cannot surviveÉthe RM1/litre price is no longer viable for farmers to make a living," he said.

Source: Daily Express
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