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It is no less than a celebration for Harjibhai Chaudhary, a milk producer at Thavar village in Banaskantha district of North Gujarat, as he will be getting around ₹2.5 lakh in the price difference announced by the district dairy union, Banas Dairy, for its 5 lakh milk producer members on Monday.

At the 54th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Banaskantha District Cooperative Milk Producers’ Union Ltd (Banas Dairy), the board of directors announced 19.12 per cent price difference for every milk supplier member of the Union.

This means, Harjibhai, who supplies (pours) about 150 litres every day from his 10 Holstein Friesians (HF) cows, is entitled to an additional price of 19.12 per cent over and above the value of the milk he supplied in the 2021-22 fiscal. Harjibhai had provided milk worth ₹14 lakh during the year. Similarly, for 64-year-old Hansaba Chavda, a resident of Joita village of Vadgam taluka, the 19.12-per cent works out to a whopping ₹17.78 lakh. The reason—Chavda had supplied milk worth ₹93 lakh during the fiscal from her 45 cows. “Every year we eagerly look forward to the ‘bhav fer’ (price difference) announcement at the AGM. This gives a motivation to stay with dairying,” said Chavda, who has been into dairying for over 15 years and now deploys milking machines and labourers at her cow-shed. The average milk production at her farm is about 800 litres per day.

What is price difference

On Monday, while addressing a huge gathering of over 5,000 milk producers on the outskirts of Palanpur—the district headquarter of Banaskantha—Shankar Chaudhary, Chairman, Banas Dairy, said the 19.12 per cent price difference for the year 2021-22 would work out to ₹1,650 crore, the highest sum ever. In the previous year, 2020-21, the dairy had given ₹1,132 crore as price difference, while in 2019-20 it was ₹1,144 crore.

Price difference is the remuneration paid over and above the milk procurement price given to the milk producers. The dairy earns additional revenues by selling value-added and non-dairy products. The profits earned from the sale of these products are calculated at the end of the year and subsequently distributed among the dairy members. “The entire money will be deposited into the milk pourers’ bank accounts directly within next 15 days,” said Chaudhary. Speaking to BusinessLine, Chaudhary said, “Banas Dairy pays the highest price difference amongst all other dairy unions of Gujarat.”

‘A role model’

In his address, Union Minister for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying Parshottam Rupala said, “Banas Dairy has set a role model for the country to follow. It’s remarkable achievements in milk and honey procurement is inspiring many others in the country.” The dairy union’s capital has grown from ₹244 crore in 2013-14 to ₹848 crore in 2021-22, while the assets have increased from ₹879 crore to over ₹3,500 crore during the same period. And the revenues have grown from ₹4,687 crore to ₹15,255 crore.

Source : The Hindu Business Line 11th July 2022 by Rutam Vora