Right move, say dairy farmers

MALAYSIA - The Sabah Dairy Farmers Association welcomed the announcement by Agriculture and Food Industry Minister Datuk Abdul Rahim Ismail that there will be a new fresh milk price structure for dairy farmers soon.
calendar icon 25 January 2007
clock icon 2 minute read
Its Secretary Gerald Baxter hoped this would fulfil their earlier request for an increase in the price of milk bought by Sabah International Dairies Sdn Bhd (Sadar) from them. Gerald was referring to their request to the company to consider increasing the price to RM1.50 per litre. Presently the company is buying their fresh milk supply from the local dairy farmers at RM1 per litre, while the Government is giving a subsidy of 50sen. "After meeting the farmers, I find that they greatly appreciate the subsidy given by the Government all these years. The farmers understand the effort Rahim and Department of Veterinary Services and Animal Industries (Dovsai) have put in helping the farmers and the industry," he said. "But we hope the company increase the price of buying our milk to RM1.50 per litre, and plus the Government subsidy of RM0.50 per litre, we will be getting RM2 per litreÉthat is all we are requesting from the company concerned," he added. In the current economic situation, Gerald said this is the only way for the farmers to make a decent living.

"In order to improve the dairy industry, farmers have to have a certain profit margin, which they can then use to modernise their farms and improve quality and efficiency.

"If they are not making any profit they will not only never improve, but most likely may end up closing down as a few farmers have already done since the beginning of this year," he said.

In appealing to the company for a favourable response on this matter, he pointed out that the company increased its selling price of the milk at least twice. "Why shouldn't they be able to increase the purchasing price of milk from the farmers? It seems unfair that the company controls both the buying and the selling price, while the farmers who work hard to produce the milk have no say on the price of milk that they sell to the factory."

Source: Daily Express
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