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Dairy Farming : Dairy Farmers Urged to Set MSP for Milk

Dairy farmers have urged the government, they requested to set a minimum support price (MSP) for milk. Last year cooperative and private dairies paid Rs 19-20 for a litre of milk to farmers, when markets were abundantly supplied. Because of this price it is resulted in a loss of Rs 2-5 a litre for farmers.

Against a cost of production of Rs 20-25 a litre, now cooperatives and private dairies are paying Rs 25-30 for a litre of milk. But with a gradual increase in temperature milk production has started falling and farmers face an uncertain income.

“The government intervenes in pulses, onion and other commodities, then why not in dairy? Dairy farmers borrow from banks for purchase of high-yielding cows and buffaloes. In case of a sharp fall in milk prices, farmers sell their animals. When prices improve, they again borrow to buy animals. This cycle results in massive losses for farmers,” said Arun Patil, chairman, Indian Dairy Association (west zone), while speaking on the sidelines of the 45th Dairy Industry Conference on climate change.

For procuring additional milk to produce skimmed milk, the government should engage organisations like Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC), he added. Despite India being the largest producer of milk, its share in the world market stands at less than 1 per cent.

“To make the dairy business profitable, farmers need at least 50 per cent more than their cost of milk production. Also, cooperative and private dairies should pay farmers in time,” said Arun D Narke, president, Indian Dairy Association while addressing the inaugural session.

With an estimated production of 156 million tonnes in 2015-16, India is self-sufficient in milk. Every year over the last five years, the country’s milk production has grown by around 10 million tonnes. But due to climate change because of a gradual rise in temperature and widening differences between day and night temperatures, India could lose 3 million tonnes of milk every year.