The state government had taken a decision some months ago to provide a subsidy of `5 per litre of milk to co-operative and private producers to convert it into milk powder.
Private and cooperative milk dairies in Maharashtra have raised procurement price for milk to a uniform `28 per litre from September 1, a move aimed at benefitting farmers in the drought-hit areas. These dairies were earlier giving farmers between `26-28 per litre.
The rate of `28 per litre will be given to farmers for milk with 3.5% fat and 8.5% solids-not-fat (SNF). A decision to hike the procurement price was taken at a recent meeting of Maharashtra Milk Producers’ and Processors’ Welfare Association in Pune that was attended by over 60 representatives from various dairies, including Katraj, Sonai, Chitale, Parag, Swaraj, Real, Urja, Natures Delight, SR Thorat, Rajhans, Shivamrut and Nandan.
Shripad Chitale, a member of the association, said the decision was taken because of the drought situation in the state and floods which hit Satara, Sangli and Kolhapur last month. Milk rates have been increased keeping the interest of the farmers in mind, he said.
Association secretary Prakash Kutwal said, “Our procurement prices were earlier `25 per litre (`20 from the dairy and `5 per litre subsidy from the government). Now there is no subsidy and yet the procurement prices have gone up to `28 per litre but the consumer price shall remain the same at `44 per litre.”
According to other industry people, with milk in short supply, milk powder is commanding good rates which has led to a competition to get milk from farmers. The association has, therefore, decided on a uniform procurement price of `28 per litre, they said.
The state government had taken a decision some months ago to provide a subsidy of `5 per litre of milk to co-operative and private producers to convert it into milk powder. Kutwal pointed out that subsidy dues are yet to be given by the government.
Over the last year, the average procurement price for cow milk containing 3.5% fat and 8.5% SNF has fallen from `24-25 to `17-20 per litre in Maharashtra. Buffalo milk (6.5% fat, 9% SNF) has fallen from `41-42 to `34-36 per litre. 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.