Seeking an increase in price of milk by ₹5 a litre, milk producers from southern districts are set to take out a rally and lay siege to Vidhana Soudha in Bengaluru on September 22.
While Karnataka Milk Federation’s attempt to raise milk price in the State has been spiked by the government at least three times in the recent months, district milk unions have cut down on procurement price of milk to keep the unions profitable.
“The input cost in the dairy industry has increased by about 30% for the farmers while cost of transportation, milk processing and packaging has gone up for milk unions. For the past three years, the government has not allowed the federation to increase the cost of milk,” Bengaluru Milk Union Ltd. (BAMUL) president Narassimhamurthy said.
“The decline in procurement of milk by about three lakh litres in BAMUL is due to lack of interest in animal husbandry among farmers as it has become less profitable. The price of milk in other States is above ₹50 a litre,” he added.
According to Mr. Narasimhamurthy, milk farmers from about 8,000 milk cooperative societies in Kolar, Tumakur, Mandya, Ramanagaram, Bengaluru Urban and Rural districts will be participating in the massive rally.
Stating that the government has not allowed increase in price rise, he said that BAMUL has reported a loss of ₹24 crore in the last three months due to supply of 2,400 tonnes of milk powder for Ksheera Bhagya scheme in Bidar, Kalaburagi, Yadgir, Ramanagaram, Bengaluru Urban and Rural districts.
“While the production cost of milk powder was ₹305 per kg, union gets about ₹245 per kg after deducting levy to KMF, transportation and other costs. While we are currently giving an average rate of 28 for procurement of milk from farmers, the union will be able to raise the procurement cost if government properly compensates for the milk powder supply,” Mr. Narasimhamurthy said.