Dairy farmers facing huge losses across Maharashtra due to the lockdown

Dairy farmers facing huge losses across Maharashtra due to the lockdown

A new report talks about the troubles faced by dairy farmers in the midst of the lockdown, as their supply has reportedly dropped by 25 per cent. This is primarily due to the closure of local tea outlets, restaurants, and mithai shops, which has hit the milk farmers pretty hard. This also means that they’re facing significant losses owing to existing stock which cannot be effectively stored.

As per data provided by state authorities, a total of 34.4 lakh litres of milk was distributed in Mumbai on the 21st of March, the day before the Janata Curfew officially started. But as of this past Sunday, only 25.2 lakh litres of milk was supplied to distributors in the city.

While the lockdown shouldn’t have impacted the supply of essential commodities like milk, the real story appears to be completely different. Some farmers are reportedly getting paid as low as Rs 20 per litre despite the government’s notices to milk dairies asking them to pay farmers at least Rs 25 per litre. 

Also Read - Coronavirus Pandemic: Supply Of Milk In Mumbai Impacted

Farmers are also seeing an increase in their input cost for the production of milk. In drought-hit areas like Marathwada, the input cost for a litre of milk is said to be Rs 35 due to the lack of fodder.

The Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) has provided insights on how the lockdown has impacted milk supply. The GCMMF also owns popular brand Amul. RS Sodhi, chairman of the GCMMF said - “We are procuring 20% more milk than usual from farmers as we have the capacity to convert it into milk powder and butter. We are even paying them the appropriate price. But in large segments, dairy farmers, who earned up to Rs 32/litre, are now barely getting Rs 24-25.”

While transportation appears to be functioning as normal, Sodhi added that there was a shortage of labourers given the circumstances and is causing hurdles with regard to loading and unloading of products.