Govt may appease dairy farmers with sops

Govt may appease dairy farmers with sops

The State government is toying with an idea of increasing incentives being given to dairy farmers so that it can defer taking any decision on hiking Nandini milk price at present.

The Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF) has proposed to hike the milk price by Rs 3 per litre following demand from the dairy farmers. The State government, however, is in a dilemma over hiking the price as elections to the State Assembly are in the offing. If the government hikes the prices, it may incur the wrath of consumers; and if does not, the farmers will be unhappy. As a result, the government is contemplating hiking the incentive being given to the farmers, in the 2013-14 Budget, sources in the Animal Husbandry Department said.
Currently, the farmers are getting an incentive of Rs 2 per litre of milk.

The board of Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF) will meet on January 21 to give its approval to the proposed hike.

KMF Director (Marketing) Ravikumar Kakde said the federation had decided to propose a flat hike of Rs 3 per litre for all varieties, including the single-toned milk. The current rate of single-toned milk is Rs 24 per litre. However, the final decision on whether or not to hike the price will be taken by the State government.

Union’s demand

Ravikumar said all milk unions coming under the KMF had demanded an increase in milk price. The federation, too, is under a lot of stress due to increase in operation costs such as packaging and transportation.

Speaking to reporters in Bellary, KMF chairperson G Somashekhara Reddy said milk producers in other states were being paid Rs 30 to Rs 34 a litre while those in Karnataka were getting a mere Rs 24 a litre. He said price hike was inevitable as production costs had gone up.

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