No increase in milk prices in summer, farmers face the heat
Prices of milk have not increased this year even in summer as they used to go up during these months because of fall in the production of milk due to hot weather and increased consumption of milk products.punjab Updated: May 29, 2015 00:15 IST
Prices of milk have not increased this year even in summer as they used to go up during these months because of fall in the production of milk due to hot weather and increased consumption of milk products.
Prices have been the same for about past seven months and allegedly low in two years.
“Last year, the rates of milk were 5.50 per unit of fat in May and this year, they are still around 4.70 per unit of fat. For cow milk, the rates are lower by about `3 to 4 per litre while for buffalo milk, they are down by `7 to `8 per litre.
A low after two years in the prices of milk has left the farmers under a lot of financial strain because the input costs have increased as compared to the prices of milk. Many farmers are getting disinterested in animal rearing as it was being promoted by the government,” said Sukhdeep Singh, a youth from Surghuri village, who has a milk collection centre in the village.
“At these rates, produces claim that there is no profit in selling milk. The cow milk mostly sells at around `2,000 to `2,200 per quintal while the rates of quality feeds are around `2,400 per quintal. Besides it, there are many kinds of other inputs as labour, power, medicines, fodder and wheat straw. If the situation continues like this, the dairy farming would not survive for long,” Gurjeet Singh, a milk producer from Faridkot said.
Farmers claim that if cow milk is bought at about `3,000 a quintal, only then there is some profit because running a dairy farm is very costly affair.
To curb the escalating input costs, the farmers start buying cheap substandard feed and also decrease the amount of feed to the animals, which further hits them as production falls and animals also develop some kinds of problems.
While big producers sell their produce to big milk purchasing agencies, small ones get lower rates because most of them have to sell their milk to the milkmen, who offer them lower price because this year there is little competition in buying milk.
The direct sale of milk is not within the reach of many producers as they are settled in villages and going to towns becomes more costly for them while managing all affairs of milk production at the same time.
So, most of the producers have to sell milk either to big dairies or milkmen, who allegedly eat up their profit.
Most of the people engaged in milk production are small farmers, who have adopted dairy farming as an allied occupation to increase their meagre income.
Sources said that the skimmed milk power could not be exported due to the decrease in the demand in the international market while, locally, the production is more than the requirement.
The alleged sale of spurious milk and byproducts is also a problem. Affordability of many also keeps the milk consumption at the lowest.