BENGALURU: A hard blow for the dairy farmers of Karnataka, the dairy unions have decided to reduce the purchase price of Rs 1.5 per liter from June 1, due to the drop in consumption amid the blockage caused by the pandemic.
Ironically, the weak demand was compounded by a glut of production due to decent rains. The Karnataka Dairy Federation (KMF), the apex of dairy unions, receives around 87 lakh liters per day, compared to 73 lakh in normal flow. Daily sales, on the other hand, increased from 60 lakh to 49 lakh liters.
Although the government extended the opening hours of milk parlors from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the lockdown, sales have fallen largely because wholesale buyers like hotels are closed and large weddings have been banned. . KMF is now converting the excess supply into skimmed milk powder, which is stored as there are no takers for this product either.
“This painful situation prompted us to reduce the purchase price. We hope the farmers will cooperate, ”said Narasimha Murthy, chairman of Bengaluru Milk Union Limited (Bamul) which covers three districts – Bengaluru Urban, Bengaluru Rural and Ramanagar. Dairy unions Hassan and Mandya have also decided to reduce the purchase price, while many of the other 11 unions are expected to follow suit.
Farmers, on the other hand, want the government to increase incentives for milk producers from 5 rupees per liter to 10 rupees. 45.
“Due to rising feed prices, the cost of production has dropped to Rs 28-30 per liter. The government should increase the incentives, otherwise the decision of the dairy unions to reduce the purchase price will deal a fatal blow to dairy farming, ”said T Yashwantha, dairy farmer and state committee member Karnataka Prantha Raitha Sangha.
However, the government is unlikely to meet the demand. “Financial constraints do not allow us to increase incentives at the moment. Let me discuss the matter with the dairy unions and try to find a way out, ”said Prabhu Chauhan, Minister of Livestock.
KMF, which is under pressure to continue shopping, appealed to the Center to allow dairy unions to borrow under the interest subsidy program on lines of its package for last year’s lockdown when the unions dairy took advantage of Rs 800 crore.
“We badly need something like the interest subsidy program because we have to shop despite the low demand and pay the farmers,” said KMF Managing Director Satish BC, who took part in a video conference with the Union breeding secretary, Friday. “The Center assured us that it would extend the program to the current foreclosure and that unions could be allowed to borrow around Rs 900 crore,” he added.