Post-Verka hike, dairy farmers increase milk prices by Rs 2 a kg

A day after Milkfed, the state co-operative, hiked prices of milk being sold under Verka brand by Rs 2 a litre, the Ludhiana Dairy Farmers' Association on Tuesday announced a hike in milk prices by Rs 2 a kg.

Milkfed's reasoning for the price hike — the fourth in a year — is: they have started giving more prices to the farmers by Rs 2 a litre from whom they purchase milk and in return the same has been passed onto the consumer.

However, the local dairy association's reasoning for the hike is that they are getting fodder at much higher prices from the market and hence they have no other option but to hike the prices.

Straw which was priced at Rs 250 a quintal last year is now being sold at Rs 500 a quintal while green fodder is now priced at Rs 250 a quintal against Rs 100 a quintal last year, according to Narinder Sharma, president of the Ludhiana Dairy Farmers' Association.

"In the given circumstances, we have no choice but to hike the prices," he said.

While Verka milk prices will now be Rs 38 a kg against Rs 36 a kg for 4% fat, the loose milk being sold by Ludhiana dairy farmers in various areas is already in the range of Rs 40-44 a litre. Hence, these prices would now be in the range of Rs 42- 46 a litre, said D S Oberoi.

He added that straw being used as food for cattle was being used as a source of fuel by dyeing factories while cardboard units were making cardboard from straw, so cattle were getting feed at a much higher price.

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