Updated: March 28, 2020 2:38:28 pm
In an unusual move, the Maharashtra Milk Producers’ and Processors’ Welfare Association, the umbrella body of cooperative and private dairies in the state, have asked the state government to implement a flat Rs. 25 procurement price for milk in the state. Gopalrao Mhaske, president of the Association, claimed this was necessary as private dairies have started slashing procurement prices of milk drastically in the last few days.
The nationwide lockdown has seen a dip in milk consumption with institutional buying of milk and dairy products almost drying up. Price of skimmed milk powder (SMP) which was at Rs. 340 per kg, has since come down to Rs. 250 per kg, making dairies whose main business is in commodities facing the music. In their letter, the Association said private dairies have taken to arbitrary price cut at the producers’ end.
“Some dairies have brought down prices to as low as Rs. 19 per litre for milk with 3.5 per cent fat and 8.5 per cent solid-not-fat (SNF). Also in some cases they have stopped procurement of excess milk,” the letter read.
Mhaske asked the state government to step in and make it compulsory for dairies to pay farmers at the rate of Rs. 25 per liter. “This would stop the distress at the farmers’ end. Dairies whose procurement prices have not come down will also not face the Herculean task of having to buy all the milk in their area,” the letter read.
Maharashtra’s dairies were paying their farmers around Rs. 31-32 per litre as a shortfall of milk had pushed the SMP prices nationally. However, the lockdown has seen a sharp correction in the market which had led to some dairies to immediately correct the prices. The Association’s letter comes in the wake of this correction.
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