Agri Business

Fodder crisis looms large over Telangana as weather plays truant

KV Kurmanath Hyderabad | Updated on February 19, 2015 Published on February 19, 2015

Dairy farmers, industry fear escalation in cost of production, procurement





With monsoon failing for the second successive year, Telangana is in for severe shortage of fodder.

Significant fall in paddy acreage and failure of other crops such as maize have left the farmers with no fodder. Farmers fear escalation in cost of production.

The industry, which suffered an increase of 25 per cent in the cost of procurement last year, expects further increase this year.

“The average paddy area in the State is about 25 lakh hectares. But this year, farmers cultivated on only eight lakh hectares. The same is the case with maize and other crops that farmers generally use as fodder. Farmers had burnt crops in the fields after rains failed them in several districts,” Sarampally Malla Reddy, Vice-President of All-India Kisan Sabha (AIKS), told BusinessLine.

“The stocks could last up to a couple of weeks. After that it could pose a serious problem,” he said.

K Bhasker Reddy, Managing Director of Creamline Dairy Products, admitted that the industry has begun to feel the pinch.

“The shortage of fodder could lead to increase in the cost of procurement. Last year, the cost of procurement went up by about 25 per cent to ₹570 per a kg of fat from ₹485 in the previous year,” he said.

He, however, said that it would be difficult to quantify the likely increase in the cost of procurement of milk this year.

Production

Apart from getting fodder as a by-product, farmers used to grow certain grass varieties. This too was impacted by the shortage of water and scarcity of relevant seed.

“A few mandals did well. But the fodder grown in those areas would be sufficient only for the local demand,” Malla Reddy said. Dairy farmers procure about 50 per cent of their fodder needs from paddy and maize, while the remaining 50 per cent coming from the exclusive fodder crops.

“The cost of fodder has gone up so much that farmers are spending more than what they earn on milk. It is not even available in some areas. The government should procure and supply it free to farmers to protect the animals,” P Janga Reddy, State President of Dairy Producers’ Association, said.

Published on February 19, 2015
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