Mumbai: The chorus is increasing from the cooperative and private milk suppliers for import of milk powder following the declining production of milk and shortage of milk powder across the country.
Already there has been 10% reduction in milk production since October last leading to 50,000 metric tonnes of shortage of milk powder. The cooperative and private milk suppliers have therefore appealed to the Centre to take an early decision to import 50,000 metric tonnes to avoid deficit in summer.
The Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying has convened a meeting on February 13 with various stake holders in New Delhi to take stock of the situation. Already due to shortage in milk production and supply, the prices have soared by Rs 5 to 6 per litre.
Cooperative and private milk suppliers argue that the country is passing through a unique milk flush season where there is shortfall in milk production and the milk prices keep rising. The consumer prices of milk and products have seen upwards trend and expected to continue the same trajectory on the onset of lean season starting after couple of months.
Moreover, there is a thin inventory of milk powder and fat which is expected to put pressure on milk prices in coming months which coincides with lean season of milk production.
Department sources told FPJ,'' The issues with regard to current milk situation, monthly stock of milk powder and white butter required for self consumption during April-September 2020 and expected stock of milk powder and white butter as on April 30, 2020 will be discussed at length at the meeting on February 13.
The inputs received from states show that there has been 10% shortage in milk production resulting in at least 50,000 tonnes of deficit in milk powder.''
He informed that India's total milk production is 186 to 200 million tonnes per annum while the country produces about 5 lakh metric tonnes of milk powder which is required for the manufacturing of confectionery, biscuits, bakery products, infant milk and for sweets in bulk supply. The ex-managing director of Amul, BM Vyas, made a strong case for import of 50,000 metric tonnes of milk powder.
''The Centre needs to take an early decision as since October there is fall in milk production leading to cut in the production of milk powder,'' he noted. On the other hand, Lactalis India MD Rahul Kumar said Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan and many more states have declared less milk production compared to last year.'' It is inevitable to import milk solids to fill the genuine deficit without hurting interest of dairy farmers,'' he viewed.