Rising cost of inputs has thrown sector into crisis, says association
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Farmers staging a dharna in front of the Wayanad collectorate at Kalpetta in Wayanad district on Wednesday raising a slew of demands. | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

A group of farmers under the aegis of the Malabar Dairy Farmers’ Association staged a dharna in front of the collectorate here on Wednesday raising a slew of demands, including fixing a minimum support price of ₹50 to a litre of milk.

Speaking after inaugurating the protest, Venu Cheriyath, president of the organisation, said that the dairy farmers in the State were facing an incomparable crisis owing to the low price of the produce and higher input for the production.

The farmers were getting an average of ₹35 a litre of milk, but they had to spend ₹40 to ₹45 to produce a litre of milk, Mr. Venu said.

Now, the farmers were selling the produce to the primary milk cooperative at a loss of ₹10 a litre, he said.

The price of a bag of cattle feed in the market on Wednesday was ₹1,600 as against ₹800 a bag in 2017.

The price of green fodder and hay also increased considerably, but a proportionate increase was not seen in the price of milk, he said.

The protesters also raised the demands such as adopting steps to ensure the quality of milk brought to Kerala from neighbouring States; ensuring the quality of cattle feed available in the market; controlling the price of the feed, and allowing 50% subsidy for cattle feed.

Fluid milk consumption has seen a decline among US consumers since the 1960s.

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