Milma's Ernakulam region will roll back the price of homogenised milk from Rs.24 to Rs.22 a litre from April 1. The price was increased in the region, consisting of Ernakulam, Thrissur, Kottayam and Idukki districts, two days ago.

The chairman of the Ernakulam Regional Cooperative Milk Producers' Union Limited, M.T. Jayan said the price hike was intended to provide additional support to farmers.

While the region will continue to provide an additional incentive of Rs.3 per litre to the farmers till March 31, it will urge the government to provide subsidy of an equal amount once the incentive is withdrawn consequent on the rollback of the selling price of homogenised milk.

He said the hike was being withdrawn in deference to the government direction.

Tripartite agreement

The right to determine the procurement price as well as the selling price of milk was bestowed on Milma as per the tripartite agreement signed by the government, Milma and the National Dairy Development Board when the Operation Flood programme was launched in the State, he said in a statement.

Though there had been no convention of government intervention in the pricing of value-added products such as homogenised milk, Milma decided to follow the government direction in good faith, he said.

The increasing production cost had adversely affected the dairy sector and Milma's effort was to retain the farmers in the sector and to attract more people into it. The hike was intended to provide additional monetary support to the farmer.

The Milma region was incurring an additional daily expenditure of Rs.7 lakh on account of the additional payment to farmers and the extra expenses owing to procurement from neighbouring States at higher rates.

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