The Wholesale Price Index or WPI-based fodder inflation stood at 25.54 per cent in August 2022, the highest in last nine years. It has been rising since December last year. The fodder inflation has seen a sharp spike in the last four months despite the overall WPI inflation softening in recent months.
The fodder price rise has a direct impact on milk prices. After Amul raised retail milk prices in August this year, the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) cited higher cattle feed cost as the reason.
Rising fodder prices have put a huge burden on agricultural households, particularly with massive crop damage due to late and heavy monsoon rain, and the lumpy skin disease, which has spread across 15 states, killed almost a lakh cattle.
“One of the reasons for the shortage is that paddy and wheat straw is not fully converted into good quality fodder. In many parts of the country, farmers burn stubble, which causes further shortage of fodder,” The Indian Express quoted Amaresh Chandra, Director at Indian Grassland and Fodder Research Institute, as saying as he highlighted the shortage of green and dry fodder in India.
Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar last month flagged the need to ensure availability of fodder. “Kuchh sankat khade ho rahe hain, jisme pramukh roop se hum dekhenge toh dhyan me aayega ki aane wala kal chaare ka sankat khada karta hai (There are some crises in the horizon… the fodder shortage being the primary one),” he said, addressing the World Dairy Summit in Greater Noida on September 14. “There is a need to contemplate seriously on how sufficient fodder can be made available in the coming time…,” he said.