Milk producers in Maharashtra will get a rate of Rs 25 per litre for their produce from Wednesday. The decision was taken after a meeting between the officials of the state government and Dairy Development Department in Nagpur.
Many dairy owners in Maharashtra had agreed to pay milk producers Rs 25 per litre from July 21, after a four-day agitation by activists, but several dairies continued to pay them at the old rates citing confusion over the government resolution (GR) and calculation of the rates as per solids-not-fate (SNF) content.
Several private and co-operative milk dairies had sought extra time from the government citing the lack of a data base and the confusion about the parameters on the calculation of the new milk rate.
Over the last year, average procurement price for cow milk containing 3.5% fat and 8.5% solids-not-fat (SNF), had fallen from Rs 24-25 to Rs 17-20 per litre in states like Maharashtra. Buffalo milk (6.5% fat, 9% SNF) had fallen from Rs 41-42 to Rs 34-36. But retail price of toned milk in pouches (only 3% fat, 8.5% SNF) has remained at `42 per litre, and full-cream milk (6% fat, 9% SNF) at `52 per litre.
Though the state government had issued a directive to milk dairies to pay farmers a rate of `25 per litre for cow’s milk, barring a few cooperative dairies, several private dairies in the state were yet to implement this and some of them have held meetings on the issue deciding to pay the new rate from August 1.
Some of the better known names in the business in western Maharashtra had begun paying the new rates with immediate effect following the government’s decision.
However, some other dairies in the state got together and decided to implement the new rate from August 1. Some of them have shown reluctance to pay the new rate and continue milk collection at old rates leading to anger among dairies and farmers distress.
Private dairies in Maharashtra had begun building a database of producers from whom to buy milk. This, the dairies say, will help them to pass on government subsidies, if any, directly to them.