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Wednesday, June 03, 2020

Lockdown: After dip in milk sales, Maharashtra govt steps in to help dairy farmers

Dairies in Mahrashtra have claimed that around 10 lakh liters out of the 1 crore liters collected per day remained unsold on a daily basis due to the nationwide lockdown announced to contain the spread of coronavirus.

Written by Parthasarathi Biswas | Pune | Published: March 31, 2020 5:50:10 pm
coronavirus, coronavrirus outbreak, pune, dairy products price increased, narendra modi, coroanvirus in pune, coronavirus news, indian express news Since the start of the nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19, dairies across the country have been reporting a sharp dip in milk sales

The Maharashtra government has decided to procure 10 lakh liters of milk per day to help dairies tide over the steep drop in sales reported due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Sunil Kedar, minister for animal husbandry, fisheries and dairy development said the state government plans to create a buffer stock of Skimmed Milk Powder (SMP) with the milk procured.

Since the start of the nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19, dairies across the country have been reporting a sharp dip in milk sales as institutional buyers in the form of hotels, restaurants, tea shops, sweet marts remained closed.

Also, ice cream sales have dipped as a fallout of social media messages which linked the frozen desert with the disease. Dairies in Mahrashtra claimed that around 10 lakh liters out of the 1 crore liters collected per day remained unsold on a daily basis.

For dairies which are mainly into commodities, the sharp correction in SMP prices from Rs 340 per kg to the present Rs 250/- per kg had led to many of the private dairies to either declare a collection holiday or slash procurement price of milk for their farmers. Many of the dairies who were paying Rs 31-32 per liter of milk with 3.5 per cent fat and 8.5 per cent Solid-Not-Fat(SNF) are now paying just about Rs 20 to their farmers.

Kedar said the state government would be procuring the excess milk at the government-declared price of Rs 25 per liter. Dairies which are procuring milk from farmers at this or higher price would be eligible for the scheme. ”The excess milk would be converted into SMP which would be sold online at a later date,” he said.

The dip in sales hit many of the dairies who have started converting their excess milk into SMP. The Kolhapur district cooperative milk union-brand Gokul- has started converting around 3-3.15 lakh liters of their procured 12 lakh liters daily collection into SMP every day. Other dairies have also followed suit. The creation of the buffer stock would, they say, help them in improving their liquidity levels.

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