Milma to urge government to provide incentives for dairy farmers.
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GETTY IMAGES The Dairy Council for NI warned farmers would face a huge drop in the prices paid for their milk

The Kerala Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd (Milma) on Saturday decided against seeking a milk price hike to tide over the summer season crisis.

Instead, the Milma programme committee that met here on Saturday to discuss ways to overcome the crisis decided to ask the State government to support dairy farmers with incentives.

The Ernakulam Regional Cooperative Milk Producers’ Union had urged the federation to raise milk prices by ₹6. But the meeting of top officials of the federation and the three regional milk producers’ unions on Saturday concluded that a hike might not be possible at this juncture.

It is understood that the State government is averse to a hike, especially with the local body elections scheduled to be held this year. Moreover, milk prices were last hiked in September last year.

“For now, we have decided to approach the government for incentives for dairy farmers. They are facing multiple problems including hike in the price of cattle feed and shortage of fodder grass. Milk yield also comes down during the dry summer months,” Milma chairman P.A. Balan said.

According to him, daily procurement by Milma now swings between 11.5 lakh litres to 12.5 lakh litres. The demand hovers around the 13.5 lakh litre-mark, according to him. “We also need 1.5 lakh litres for milk-based products. So there is a gap of two to 2.5 lakh litres at the moment,” he added.

Milma is making efforts to meet the shortage through purchases from the Tamil Nadu Cooperative Milk Producers’ Federation Limited (Aavin) and the Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF). Aavin is ready to supply up to 1.5 lakh litres, but Milma is not too happy about the price. Milma has approached KMF for 50,000 litres in addition to the current supply of 95,000 litres.

Additionally, Milma also hopes to source 25,000 to 50,000 litres of condensed milk from milk cooperatives in Maharashtra. However, a decision in this regard is yet to be finalised.

Organic dairy farmers are in crisis due to drought, market consolidation, and skyrocketing energy and feed costs brought on by unstable global markets and inflation.

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