The Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF) said on Saturday that it became imperative to increase prices of milk and curd as it had to overcome the financial burden of converting surplus milk into milk powder.
While defending the hike in price of milk by Rs four a litre and curd by Rs two, KMF chairperson P Nagaraju said that the last hike was two and a half years ago. KMF incurred an expenditure of Rs 85 crore in the form of cattle feed subsidies. The additional revenue raised would go to farmers, he added.
Of the 64 lakh litres of milk produced every day, KMF was able to sell only about 46 lakh litres. The hike has been effected on only 34 lakh litres of toned milk and four lakh litres of curd being sold. This amounts to an additional revenue generation of Rs 1.35 crore per day, Nagaraju said.
The entire additional revenue is not going back to farmers as earnings are divided over total milk procured (64 lakh litres). Each farmer is getting back an average of Rs 2.12 per litre.
Despite the hike, the State was selling milk at the lowest rates in the country – Rs 33 per litre. Efforts are on to bring down production cost of milk powder. New projects proposed by KMF are – Two milk powder plants in Dharwad and Ramanagar at a cost of Rs 325 crore each; three cattle feed plants in Mandya, Dharwad and Chikkaballapur at Rs 200 crore each; pouch film plant at Kengeri at a cost of Rs 120 crore.
Pet bottle units in Mysuru and Shivamogga at Rs 80 crore each, cold storage units across the State at a cost of Rs 300 crore, flexi pack units in Mangaluru, Tumakuru, Koppal, Belagavi at a cost of Rs 25 crore each. All projects will start this year and tenders will be floated by March, Nagaraju said.