Dairy farmers in troubleas feed price soars

No decision yet on milk price hike ahead of Onam season

Dairy farmers are once again in dire straits with the price of cattle feed going up sharply over the last two months and the apex milk union Milma Board yet to decide on a possible hike in the price of milk ahead of the Onam festive season.

“There is yet no decision on price hike,” said Milma sources, which discounted a slew of reports in the media indicating a price rise before the Onam season. The Ernakulam region, comprising Ernakulam, Kottayam, Idukki and Thrissur districts, is expected to see milk demand going up to about eight lakh litres a day during the Onam week. Of this, about five lakh litres will be procured from Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, where milk prices have moved up recently. Milma procures its milk from cooperatives and government agencies in these States and does not involve private vendors in the purchases.

Milk procurement in the Ernakulam region has continued to stay on a par with last year’s level of around 2.9 lakh litres per day, the sources said.

Meanwhile, the rise in the price of cattle feed following sharp rise in the price of raw materials like maze, has placed the farmers in a difficult position. It is difficult to cope with the current level of price, said Sethu, a dairy farmer in Choornikkara, near here. He said that the price had gone up sharply and expected some support from the milk union.

Even as the dairy farmers are in serious trouble, public sector and cooperative feed makers are also suffering losses because they are not in a position to hike prices in view of the farmers’ problems. However, Milma sources said that the Thiruvananthapuram union had decided to provide a subsidy of ₹100 per bag of cattle feed in view of the price rise. The feed price had gone up about ₹300 a bag of 50 kg over the last two months.

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Printable version | Jul 5, 2020 11:15:33 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/dairy-farmers-in-troubleas-feed-price-soars/article28871066.ece

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