The Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF), a dairy cooperative known by the brand name ‘Nandini,’ has proposed to the state’s Basavaraj Bommai-led government raising the price of milk by Rs. 3 per litre due to an increase in input costs in the dairy industry. The decision was made at the federation’s annual general body meeting on Friday.
The KMF last increased milk prices by Rs. 2 per litre in February 2020. A 3 per litre price increase was also discussed earlier this year in April, but it was rejected by the state government.
In April, the KMF was dealing with rising electricity and fuel prices, while milk farmers were dealing with rising transportation costs. Covid-related curbs had also reduced the market supply of corrugated boxes, which the federation required in bulk for packaging. Furthermore, there was a scarcity of pulp.
The state government has previously rejected KMF requests to raise milk prices and has yet to approve their latest proposal, which is expected to be debated during the state legislature’s monsoon session. The KMF will pass on the entire 3 increases to farmers directly. According to milk unions, one litre of Nandini milk is currently sold for 37 in Karnataka, while neighbouring states charge around 50.
According to sources close to the KMF’s chairman, Balachandra Jarkiholi, the general body of the federation decided to raise the current milk price by 3 after pressure from all 14 district milk unions.
This action coincides with a planned September 22 rally by milk producers in Mandya, Kolar, Ramanagaram, and Bengaluru Urban and Rural districts seeking a 5 per litre price increase.