Milk procurement price hike sought

INDIA - With an all-round increase in the price of cattle feed and other inputs, dairy farmers feel that it will be difficult to supply milk to the cooperative milk producer's societies at the current price.
calendar icon 12 February 2007
clock icon 2 minute read
At present, the Tamil Nadu Cooperative Milk Producers' Federation is buying from the farmers at Rs. 12.50 a litre of buffalo milk and Rs. 10.50 a litre of cow milk for 8 per cent of solids non-fat content. The price was fixed on June 1,2004. Thereafter, there was no revision of the price, though the price of cattle feed and other inputs had increased by over 70 per cent, say dairy farmers.

Pleas failed

S.A. Senkottuvelu, president of the Tamil Nadu Milk Producers Welfare Association, said that despite repeated representations, the Government had not increased the procurement price. The farmers were supplying milk at a non-remunerative price, besides being forced to pay a heavy penalty if the SNF content was not up to the standard. If the SNF content was less than 8 per cent, societies were either rejecting the milk or paying only Rs 2.40 a litre. Earlier, the societies used to pay on the pro-rata basis of the SNF content.

He said that in the last two years, milk arrival had increased substantially. The arrival, which was of the order of 16 lakh litres a day, had gone up to 25 lakh litres, and this had been stabilised at 20 lakh litres. There were occasions when district unions refused to buy stating that they had excess stock. On those days, farmers had to sell at a throwaway price to locals. Besides, as instructed by the National Dairy Development Board, the Erode, Villupuram, and Dharmapuri district unions had been collecting 50 paise a litre during the last two years from the producers for a rehabilitation fund meant to wipe out the losses. Though losses had been made up, the unions continued to collect the charge. He said farmers had taken up dairy activities to supplement their income. Unfortunately, they were not getting remunerative prices.

Source: The Hindu
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