After over three years, the Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF) is likely to increase selling price of Nandini milk by ₹3 a litre.
While a decision on this was taken at the KMF’s annual general body meeting here on Friday, its date of implementation, however, is yet to be confirmed as any hike in price has to be approved by the State government. It is learnt that the KMF has decided to pass on the entire hike amount of ₹3 to farmers.
The development comes ahead of the monsoon session of the State legislature where the issue could come up for discussion.
Currently, a litre of Nandini milk is sold at ₹37 in Karnataka. Milk Unions have pointed out that the cost of milk is around ₹50 a litre in neighbouring States, and that the milk producers have been affected owing to rise in input cost for the dairy industry.
Sources close to KMF chairman Balachandra Jarkiholi said that the decision to hike the selling price by ₹3 was cleared by the general body unanimously after pressure came from all the 14 district milk unions. “Though pressure has been building up to raise the milk price, all efforts by the chairman has been stymied by the government in the last eight months,” sources said, adding that it was felt that the increase was necessary to keep the milk industry financially viable.
So far, despite multiple appeals to increase the price, the government has resisted the moves, and the latest proposal comes amid th decision of milk producers in Mandya, Kolar, Ramanagaram, and Bengaluru Urban and Rural districts deciding to take out a rally in Bengaluru on September 22 seeking increase in milk price by ₹5 a litre.
Bengaluru Milk Union Ltd. president Narasimhamurthy confirmed that the KMF general body had unanimously passed a resolution to increase the price by ₹3. “We are hopeful that it will be given effect soon and benefit farmers for whom animal husbandry had become less lucrative.”
Experts feel that milk production may not be financially viable if the farmers do not get higher procurement price which now stands at ₹27 a litre.