Hike in milk price to benefit farmers: Radha Mohan Singh
New Delhi, March 23: Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh on Thursday justified increase in the retail milk prices by up to Rs 3/litre by companies like Mother Dairy and Amul, saying that it will benefit farmers whose input cost has gone up.
"There is no system to fix milk price in the country. But, the increase in rates will benefit farmers who are incurring high cost on inputs like feed and fodder," Singh said after the launch of a coffee table book on India's white revolution commemorating golden jubilee year of National Dairy Development Board.
He also unveiled a mobile App to get update on progress made in artificial insemination of cattle in India. Early this month, Mother Dairy and Amul had raised milk price by up to Rs 3 per litre in NCR-Delhi region and other cities, citing significant rise in procurement price.
The minister further said the government is taking steps to increase availability of fodder as well as milk yields, for which necessary infrastructure support is being provided through the NDDB.
"NDDB's efforts have contributed in bringing nutritional security in the country, attaining self-sufficiency in milk and delivering milk and dairy products to consumers at affordable prices," he said separately in a statement.
On fodder shortage, NDDB Chairman Dilip Rath said, "It is because there is scarcity of land for green fodder. Only way to increase production is by improving yields with use of better quality seeds. We are working on that".
He also mentioned that dairy farmers are being paid into their bank accounts after demonetisation. As many as 10 million bank accounts have been opened so far and the rest 5 million accounts will be done by end of this month. Animal Husbandry Secretary Devendra Chaudhry noted that dairy sector has potential to double the income of farmers by 2022 and therefore much focus is being given to provide all kind of support via schemes to dairy firms and farmers.
The coffee table titled "50 years -- the Great Indian Milk Revolution" encapsulates NDDB's remarkable 50 year of journey and the value it has created for millions of dairy farmers. India's milk production has crossed 155 million tonnes mark. The per capital availability of milk is about 337 grams per day.