New prices to come into effect on Sunday

The price of milk from Milma has been hiked by Rs.5 a litre. New prices will come into effect on Sunday.

According to a statement issued by the chairman of the Kerala Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation P.T. Gopalakurup here on Wednesday, the price hike decision was taken in view of the cost escalation in milk production. Accordingly, 92 per cent of the hike—Rs.4.60 out of Rs.5—would go to dairy farmers while 20 paise (four per cent) would go to primary dairy cooperative societies and the remaining 20 paise would go to the distribution agent.

Though there were cost escalations in production due to the recent hikes in the prices of petrol and diesel and resultant rise in milk processing and distribution costs, Milma had decided not to take any profits from the hike in order to help dairy farmers to the maximum extent possible, Mr. Gopalakurup said in the statement.

The revised prices for a litre of the different varieties on offer from Milma would be (with existing prices in brackets)—double toned milk – Rs.32 (Rs.27); toned milk – Rs.33 (Rs.28); homogenised toned milk – Rs.35 (Rs.30); homogenised Jersey milk – Rs.35 (Rs.30); Jersey milk (non-homogenised) – Rs.35 (Rs.30); Rich Plus milk - Rs.37 (Rs.32); and standardised milk – Rs.36 (Rs.31).

The revised price of skimmed milk curd for 500 gm packet would be Rs.20.

The chairman said that Packets with the old prices would be in circulation for a few more days until packets with the revised prices printed on them were made available.

Challenging times

Special Correspondent writes from Kochi: The dairy sector in the State had been going through challenging times ever since agriculture and associated segments lost the traditional importance in recent years. Milma, the government-backed cooperative milk marketing body, functioning under three separate regions in the State, has been finding it hard to maintain supply despite the fact that Kerala depends on neighbouring States to fulfil its requirement. Only about half of the 10.5 lakh litres of milk required by the State daily is produced within the State.

The Ernakulam Regional Cooperative Milk Producers’ Union Limited, the regional wing of Milma, had been making losses a few years ago. It has turned the corner and is making profits now owing to a variety of measures adopted by the region, chairman of Milma’s Ernakulam region M.T. Jayan said.

Any programme to increase production in the dairy sector would have to be focussed on the welfare of the farmer, he said.

A fortnight ago, the region had announced additional incentives to the farmers in the region. It included extra payment for the milk being procured during October. The initiative was considered the beginning of the new effort to establish a hike in the market price of milk.

Milma had based its course of action on a study conducted by it.

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