The Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), which owns the Amul brand, wants an immediate ban on oil meal exports. This is to ensure adequate domestic supplies for dairy farmers reeling under the impact of rising feed and fodder prices, as drought hits kharif crops in parts of the country.

“The oil meal exports should be banned immediately,” said R.S Sodhi, Managing Director, GCMMF. In the past month, livestock feed prices have shot up by about 35 per cent, while green fodder prices have almost doubled, resulting in an increased milk production costs for the farmers.

The total oil meal exports, including soyabean, rapeseed, groundnut, castor and rice bran extracts, grew 9 per cent in volume terms for the year-ended March 2012. The Government has recently decided to waive duty on imports of oil meal to boost supplies.

“Things have drastically changed in the past one month. We are keeping our fingers crossed,” he said. GCMMF has hiked the procurement prices by 13-14 per cent in the current financial year, Sodhi said, but clarified that there were no immediate plans to raise product prices for consumers.

In the last financial year, the average procurement price paid by GCMMF and its member unions to the farmers stood at Rs 465 a kg of fat, an increase of 16 per cent. The total payout by the co-operative to its milk producers in 2011-12 stood at Rs 10,160 crore, an 18 per cent increase over last year’s Rs 8,345 crore.

He maintained that prevailing drought in parts of Gujarat had not hit milk production and that the average daily procurement had gone up by about 16 per cent. Farmers tend to sell more milk, which becomes the only source of income when crops are hit by poor rains, he said. The average daily milk procurement stood at 10.30 million kg in 2011-12, a growth of 6 per cent over previous year.

vishwanath.kulkarni@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on August 6, 2012)
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