Dairies Threaten to Stop Milk Collection

INDIA - Major private dairies in the state of Pune have threatened to stop milk collection from the cooperative milk federations as well as from farmers if the state government fails to address their issues regarding a downturn in their sector and the loss making policy of the government. A final decision is expected to be taken in the next week.
calendar icon 11 May 2012
clock icon 2 minute read

The state government last week had announced a subsidy of Rs two per litre for milk powder producers. However dairy operators have charged that the declared financial assistance is inadequate, reports TheTimesofIndia.

Dashrath Mane, chairman of the Indapur dairy and milk products Ltd, said a meeting has been convened on Thursday in Pune, where the dairy operators will announce their final decision. "If we stop collection of milk from Thursday, the daily loss of milk would be 40 lakh litres in the state," he said. Indapur Dairy is one of the biggest dairy operators in the state and holds an influential position in the sector.

Vinayak Patil, chairman of the action committee formed by cooperative and private dairies in the state, said, "Milk powder export from the country has been banned since last February. Maharashtra produces 212 lakh litres milk daily, of which 113 lakh litres come from the organized sector. Out of this, around 70 lakh litres is sold as packaged milk and 10 lakh litres is used for making curd, ghee and other by-products. About 23 lakh litres milk is used for making milk powder and white butter."

The milk powder we make is being stored at various cold storage facilities. The government should intervene and help the dairies, he said.

The demand for milk powder in the domestic market is less not much. People prefer milk over milk powder, which is a major hurdle for milk powder producers, he said.

Mr Mane said: "The production cost of milk powder and butter is Rs 180 per kg and Rs 170 per kg respectively. The market rate is around Rs 160 per kg for both, whereas the inter-national rates are hovering around Rs 130 per kg. The dairy operators expect the state to intervene."

Prakash Kutwal, chairman of Kutwal Foods Pvt Ltd (Urja brand) said: "The dairies need to focus more on quality. Except the military and the north eastern states of the country, there is no market for milk powder produced in the country. The export is only to African countries that are poorer than us. No economically advanced country is accepting our products, as we can not match their quality standards. If more investment is made with the help of government in making new products, increasing quality and packaging - it would help in overcoming the crisis."

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