Karnataka

KMF on the path to recovery

Belagavi MLA Mahantesh Koujalagi inaugurating a KMF stock point and a retail outlet in Bailhongal on Wednesday.  

Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF), which suffered huge losses during the COVID-19-induced lockdown, is on the path to recovery.

There is an irony in the process of recovery though. Senior officials say that the lockdown that nearly shut down several dairies and processing plants in different States has created opportunities for the country’s second largest dairy cooperative.

A senior officer told The Hindu that KMF had sold over 2,150 tonnes of milk powder to Bihar and around 1,100 tonnes of butter to the same State and also others.

“We are selling 3.5 lakh litres of milk per day to other States. This includes sales to other milk federations and the counter sales of Nandini outlets in other States. We are focusing on increasing the range and quantum of our products sold,” the officer said.

‘Temporary’

KMF chairman Balachandra Jarkiholi said that the recovery is temporary and the organisation has to build on its gains to make sure it stays ahead of competition.

“It is pretty much as if we were the last shop that is open after a storm, that people rush to buy essentials. But we can not depend on that. We need to strengthen our position and move forward to consolidate the gains,” he said.

“We have sold over 120 tonnes of sweets in the Navaratri season alone and we plan to sell more,” he said. “Federations in other States have approached us with offers to buy our milk and milk products. We are putting in place a system to quicken out-of-State sales,” he added. “However, there is still a long way to to go. We sell only around half of our daily procurement of 80 lakh litres of milk, everyday. We have 12.6 tonnes of butter and 27.5 tonnes of milk powder in stock. Our capacity to convert all unsold milk into products with longer shelf life needs to be scaled up. For this, we need investment. We are constituting a group to study this and suggest measures,” he said.

Sales plans

KMF also plans to increase the number of sales outlets — Nandini parlours and Nandini shoppee — across the State and outside.

“We now have 1,462 Nandini parlours and 220 shoppees. We plans to open more, in the franchise model, and to explore new markets,” he said.

He said that KMF is the only major dairy technology agency in the State that buys high and sells low.

Highest price

“We give the highest price to farmers, but sell our products at the least possible price to consumers. As we are a cooperative, our operating costs are very low. However, we are managing it efficiently. Despite our losses, we were able to donate ₹ 8 crore to the Chief Minister’s Relief fund,” he said.

Mr. Balachandra Jarkiholi observed that of the 80 lakh litres of milk collected everyday by the federation, only around 10 lakh litres comes from the 14 North Karnataka districts.

He said that KMF will take up an awareness and education campaign for farmers in North Karnataka to increase their contribution to KMF procurement.

Started in 1974, KMF is the largest dairy cooperative in the country after AMUL. It has 14 unions covering all the districts in the State. Its procurement more than doubled after the State government began paying incentive to farmers for every litre of milk sent to KMF in 2008.

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Printable version | Nov 30, 2020 3:02:55 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/kmf-on-the-path-to-recovery/article32967517.ece

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