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The Pune District Cooperative Milk Producers Union – the owner of brand Katraj- has decided to reduce the price of its toned milk sold in pouches by Rs 2/ litre. A statement issued Thursday said that from December 1, 1 litre milk pouches will now be available at Rs 53. Also 250 gm packs of extra protein milk will now be priced at Rs 12.

Over the last few weeks, dairy farmers in Maharashtra are on the streets protesting against low procurement price for milk paid to them by dairies. At present milk with 3.5 per cent fat and 8.5 per cent SNF (Solid-Not-Fat) is being purchased at Rs 28-39/ litre as against the earlier rates which were above Rs 20. Farmers have asked for government intervention to ensure they get a proper price for their produce. The present rates, they said, were not tenable for them to continue their procession. Dairy farmers in Pune, Ahmednagar had agitated outside the office of the dairies as well as the tehsildars to ask for justice.

Dairies said they are unable to pay higher prices given the excess milk and low demand for dairy based products. Co-operative dairies said the excess milk is being converted into skimmed milk powder but the low prices of the commodity in the international market are a hindrance to exporting it.

Katraj’s decision to slash its price for consumers is seen as an effect to pass on benefits to the end consumer. Also by lowering prices, the dairy hopes to increase sales and reduce collection of excess milk.

Source : The Indian Express Nov 30th 203

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