Manmul slashes milk buying price, farmers plan protest

Manmul slashes milk buying price, farmers plan protest

Farmers supply milk to a dairy in a village in Mandya district. DH file photo

Mandya Milk Producers’ Union Limited (MANMUL) has shocked the farmers by slashing the milk procurement price by Rs 2 per litre (with effect from January 1) citing losses as the reason behind the move.

This comes after the announcement by Minister for Higher Education G T Devegowda recently that the milk procurement price will be increased by Re 1 from January 2019, in MyMUL, the milk union of Mysuru and Chamarajanagar districts. 

Meanwhile, the Raitha Sangha has announced a mega protest against the slash in milk procurement price on January 10.

The farmers are already facing problems due to delay in paddy procurement. Banks are denying fresh loans as farm loan waiver is yet to be implemented completely. Agriculture produce prices have crashed and taluks are drought affected. 

Farmers are again borrowing loans from moneylenders to meet the educational expenses of children and other household expenses. It was dairy farming that had come to their rescue. Now, that too is hit by Manmul’s decision.

Rs 20/litre

Compared to other milk unions of the state, Manmul was paying the least (Rs 22 per litre). With the support price of Rs 5, dairy farmers were getting Rs 27 per litre. Now, the procurement price has come down to Rs 20. But Manmul is selling milk at Rs 38 per litre to consumers. There are 20 by-products like milk powder, curds, butter and ghee.

Farmer leader K S Nanjundegowda said the irregularities and corruption in Manmul Administration Board is the main cause for such a decision. 

“They have been looting crores of rupees on the pretext of establishing the mega-dairy. The expenses of dairy farming are on the rise and the farmers are finding it difficult to meet the expenditure. A CBI probe should be ordered to expose the corruption,” he stressed.

Nagaraj, a farmer, said, Manmul has been earning huge profits in the open market. “It is not incurring a loss. Dairy farmers will stage a protest in this regard,” he said.

When contacted, Manmul president Kadaluru Ramakrishna said, the union had reduced the procurement price by Re 1 in October 2018. “As farmers staged protests, seeking a rollback, it was withdrawn. The production of byproducts has increased and there is huge stock. Once it is cleared, the procurement price will be increased,” he assured.