CM BSY to decide on proposal to hike milk price by Rs 3

Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa to decide on proposal to hike milk price by Rs 3

The KMF on Thursday requested Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa to increase the subsidy given to the farmers by Re 1 in the upcoming budget.

The proposal to hike the cost of milk by Rs 3 per litre will be decided by the state government within the next three days, with the Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF) set to hold a talk with the chief minister on Thursday. The outcome of the meeting will be placed before the board of directors on Friday

KMF Chairmain Balachandra Jarkiholi was speaking on the sidelines of an event where Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa launched a slew of products under Nandini brand. From cheese to Desi milk, nine types of ice cream, pastry and yoghurt apart from other products, the federation has come out with attractive products which will be available in the market soon.

Jarkiholi said the issue was a sensitive one and the decision has to be taken by the government. "The need for hike springs from the fact that the cost of Nandini milk (blue) has stayed at Rs 35 per litre for three years while the private players in the market sell milk at Rs 38 to Rs 42. The plan is to help provide by sharing 75% of the hiked value," he said.

While Jarkiholi refused to reveal the amount of hike sought by the federation, officials in  Bangalore Urban, Rural and Ramanagara District Cooperative Milk Producers Societies Union Ltd (BAMUL) said each of the 13 unions has sought different hikes.

"We have sought a hike of Rs 3 per litre, which is in line with the amount sought by other unions. However, there is a feeling that the government may not agree to a hike beyond Rs 2. A decision will be taken after a meeting with the chief minister in the evening. This will be followed by a KMF Board meeting scheduled Friday," an official said.

'Need to hike subsidy'

The KMF on Thursday requested Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa to increase the subsidy given to the farmers by Re 1 in the upcoming budget even as the federation thought of expanding its operations to Dubai, where there is a high demand for the 'Nandini brand' milk products.

Jarkiholi said the government gives a subsidy of Rs 5 and it needs to be increased to Rs 6 to help the rural masses, especially small and marginal farmers, who depend on animal husbandry to make ends meet at a time the agriculture is caught in a deepening crisis.

He said the KMF was looking into the possibility of marketing its products in Dubai. "During the Dubai Food Festival, the businessmen there approached us stating that there is a high demand for Nandini products in the emirates. They want to sell our products. We are exploring the option," he said.

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