The Hush Post: The people of Himachal Pradesh may have to shell out more to buy milk. This in order to provide more benefit to the dairy owners.
Speaking to media persons in Shimla, Animal Husbandry minister Virender Kanwar today said that in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of doubling the income of farmers by 2022, the state government intends to increase the income of the dairy farmers of the state.
Stating that canards were being spread in border areas of the state that the state government is buying milk at cheaper rates, Kanwar informed that Himachal Pradesh government is presently procuring milk which has 3.5 measures of fat and 8 measures of solids not fat (SNF) at the rate of Rs 23.80 per litre. The same quality of milk is being bought by Punjab authorities for Rs 22.13 per litre, he said.
The dairy farm owners sell close to one lakh to 1.50 lakh litres of milk daily in Himachal Pradesh. While in the market it is sold for Rs 45 to Rs 50 depending upon the quality of milk — more fat means better quality, the farmers have complained of not getting more than Rs 14 per kg of milk. The dairy farm owners have been demanding this for long.
Earlier this month, milk producers of Katra, Anni, Nirmand, Karsog and parts of Jhanjeri block in Mandi had decided to express their anguish over the BJP led state and central government’s anti-farmer policies by lending their support to the All India Kisan Sabha’s call for “BJP Quit India” on the 9th of August which marked the upcoming anniversary of Gandhi’s historic Quit India Movement.
Poor crop productivity, low availability of per capita arable land, substantial availability of common property grazing lands, and lack of other income-generating activities has made the rearing of dairy animals an economic compulsion in the western Himalayan region, especially in this hill state.