BHUBANESWAR: The State Government on Monday announced an incentive of Rs 2 per litre of milk to milk producers to sustain the increasing cost of cattle feed.
Announcing this in the Assembly, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Animal Resource Development Pradip Maharathi said milk farmers registered under Odisha State Cooperative Milk Producers’ Federation (Omfed) are getting less money than those from other States. While dairy farmers of other States are getting Rs 22.07 to Rs 28.85 per litre, Odisha milk producers are given Rs 20.17 per litre. As the increasing cost of cattle feed is making the business unremunerative, the farmers have been demanding more incentive from Omfed.
The Minister said the milk producers of Karnataka and Haryana are given an incentive of `4 a litre by their governments while in Rajasthan, the incentive is Rs 2 per litre. The demand of the milk producers for higher incentive was under consideration of the Government. It has been decided that the incentives of the farmers will be directly deposited in their account. This will benefit over 2.72 lakh farmers of the State.
Omfed, having majority stake in the milk market of the State, had hiked the milk price in February.
The price of a litre of toned milk is Rs 30, while that of double toned milk, it is Rs 28. The Federation had then said that the hiked amount would directly go to the milk farmers. The farmers, who were given `20.50 per litre of milk with 4 per cent butter and 8.5 per cent cheese content, were paid Rs 22.50 after the hike.
Replying to demand discussion of the department, the Minister said milk production of the State in 2013-14 was 18.61 lakh tonnes, while plans are afoot to increase the production level to 20 lakh tonnes in the current financial year. While the annual production of egg in 2013-14 was 2,381 million, target has been set to increase the production to 2,600 million in the current fiscal.
The annual budget of the two departments was passed through a voice vote. However, the Opposition Congress members staged a walkout protesting the budget provisions.