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Dairy farmers demand hike in milk procurement price in UDUPI district

Udupi District Dairy Farmers’ Union will stage a demonstration in front of the new milk dairy of Dakshina Kannada Co-operative Milk Producers Union Ltd (DKMUL) at Uppoor in Udupi district on Saturday, January 21, to urge the government to increase the procurement price of milk.

Addressing press persons in Udupi on Thursday, a former Director of DKMUL and a member of the Union N. Manjayya Shetty Sabladi said that around 3,000 dairy farmers will participate in the protest at 10 a.m.

He said that around 5,000 dairy farmers in Udupi district have quit dairying in the past one year as they have found it economically not viable. Hence, the DKMUL is facing a dearth of 60,000 litres of milk daily. The cooperative has been forced to get milk from Mandya to make up the shortage.

Mr. Sabladi said that the government should hike procurement price of milk immediately to retain dairy farmers. If not farmers who are into dairying now are likely to sell cattle once the ban on the transportation of cattle due to lumpy skin disease is lifted, it will further aggravate the crisis.

Adding to the disease, rise in the prices of cattle feed and fodder have put dairy farmers in a deplorable situation. The procurement price has not been hiked since past five years, he said.

‘‘As the procurement price of milk was reduced during the pandemic, it was recently restored with a rider that it is restored until further orders. Dairy farmers are expecting that the restored purchase price of milk should continue as it gives some respite,” he said.

The Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF) is forcefully installing Bulk Milk Coolers (BMC) at milk societies. Hence, the maintenance cost is increasing, so milk societies are suffering the losses, he said.

Dharna in Udupi

Meanwhile, dairy farmers under the auspices of Udupi District Sahakara Bharathi staged a dharna in front of Udupi Deputy Commissioner’s office on Thursday, January 19, demanding subsidy for the purchase for cattle feed and declare incentive for the farmers.

They demanded ₹5 as subsidy per a kg of cattle feed and ₹5 as incentive per one litre of milk procured from farmers. The government should declare the same as in 2013-14 Budget, they said. Later, they submitted a memorandum to the government.

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