Farmers resort to dairy farming, milk production soars

Employees at the milk processing unit in Mysuru. Dh-file photo

With the district reeling under the drought since a few years, the farmers are now concentrating on dairy farming. Compared to previous years, the procurement of milk has increased at Mysuru Milk Producers Union Limited (MYMUL).

MYMUL is purchasing around 60,000 litres additional milk per-day, compared to the previous year. While it is 6.5 lakh litres this year, it was approximately 5.85 lakh litres last year.

Sampath, who owns three acres agriculture land said, "Dairy farming ensures good returns, if properly maintained. However, there is a need for more support from the government as well as MYMUL. Health of the cattle and fodder supply during summer are the major challenges in dairy farming."

Kumara of Bilikere opined that the procurement price of the milk should be hiked, as the prices of fodder and medicines have increased. However, MYMUL offers 50% subsidy for fodder.

MYMUL Managing Director M S Vijay Kumar said, "The milk procurement has been increased by 60,000 litres compared to previous years, as many farmers are showing interest in dairy farming due to drought."

Dual pricing

MYMUL follows dual pricing system based on the seasons. For milk production, April to November is a lean season and December to March is called flush season. During flush season, the availability of the fodder is abundant and milk production will also be high.

MYMUL increases the procurement price during the lean season as the production of milk is less compared to flush season. Similarly, the prices will be reduced during flush season. “Though we are in a flush season, the MYMUL has increased the procurement price to support the farmers, who are facing drought,” he said.

MYMUL has increased the milk procurement prices by Re 1 from August 1. For societies, the minimum procurement price has increased to Rs 25.65 from Rs 24. 65. Similarly, the dairy farmers are paid Rs 24 in place of Rs 23. Besides, government provides an incentive of Rs 6 per litre and the milk producers get a minimum of Rs 30.

The MD said, "In addition to the minimum price, the farmers get additional 17 paise if the fat content in milk is above the recommended level. The minimum fat content should be 3.5% per litre. The farmers are paid more if the fat content is above the level. According to him, buffalo milk contains an approximate of 9% fat and cow milk contains 4.6% fat content."

At present, the MYMUL makes a payment of Rs 13 crore for the milk producers every week, he said.

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