Dairy farmers in remote areas don’t have choices hence they are forced to sell their produce at low prices.
The Hush Post: Heavily exploited by the state co-operatives, dairy farmers in Himachal Pradesh are forced to sell a litre of milk for a mere Rs. 14, even as a packaged drinking water bottle sells at Rs. 20.
Dairy farmers in the state sell around 1.5 lakh litres of milk daily to the Himachal Pradesh State Co-operative Milk Federation which the urban populace pays about Rs 45-50 per litre. But the same milk is brought at Rs. 14 per litre from the dairy farmers in villages. Though the highest quality milk fetches Rs. 23 per litre, it is still far below than what the end user pays for it. Dairy farmers in remote areas don’t have choices hence they are forced to sell their produce at low prices.
Milk bought from societies, rather than farmers
Instead of directly buying milk from the dairy farmers, the milk federation prefers to buy it from societies which have been formed at village level. In Shimla, milk is brought by the societies in Rampur, Nankhari, Nagan, Kumarsain, Karsog, Rohru, Jubbal and Sarahan at prices between Rs. 14 to 23. In the plant run by the federation at Rampur’s Dattnagar, around 190 societies pool in the milk.
On the basis of fat content, milk is categorized into tone, double toned, standard and full cream categories, however, the federation only buys toned and standard milk from the villagers. Dairy farmers complain that they are not being paid good remuneration based on milk quality.
Meanwhile, Animal Husbandry Minster Virender Kanwar said that efforts will be made to ensure that the dairy farmers get the deserved price.