After milking the vote, comes the price cut

KMF clips milk purchase price by one rupee a litre across the State
Last Updated 11 July 2010, 16:59 IST

The KMF has sent a circular to all the milk producers’ co-operative societies in this regard. The KMF used to purchase a litre of milk from the societies at a minimum of Rs 15. Now, the co-operative societies have been instructed to purchase milk at Rs 14 per litre.

This has sent a wave of discontent among the dairy farmers who supply milk to the co-operative societies. The farmers feel cheated with the decision.

It can be recalled that a couple of months ago, the purchase price of milk had been hiked by Rs two, during the Gram Panchayat elections. Out of this amount, the farmers received Rs 1.50, the milk producers co-operative societies received an incentive of 25 paise and 25 paise was spent towards the maintenance.

Election tactics

During the milk purchase hike the Government took enough mileage out of the situation. And now when it has slashed the price, it is wise enough to be discreet in its approach.
Of late, several farmers were opting for dairy farming, attracted by the lucrative profit the sector promises. The turn of events has only disappointed the farmers.

In the last couple of years, the price of the animal feed has more than doubled, while the milk prices have been hiked only once. In order to produce a litre of milk, a farmer spends a minimum of Rs 10. With hike in the prices of animal feed, several farmers had given up dairy farming also.

It is an irony of sorts to note that in order to appease the urban electorate during the elections to the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike, the Government had announced that it will not hike the prices of milk. And once the BBMP elections were through, in order to appease the rural electorate during the gram panchayat elections, the Government decided to increase the purchase price of milk.

With reduction in the purchase price of milk, the farmers are naturally lured to sell their milk to private milk dairies, who are offering Rs 16 per litre to the farmers. By reducing the purchase price of milk, the Government is indirectly promoting the private dairies, the farmers assert.

(Published 11 July 2010, 16:58 IST)

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