Dairy farmers have a reason to cheer as the Budget has extended the facility of Kisan Credit Card (KCC) to animal husbandry, thereby providing farmers a much-needed cushion to meet short-term credit requirements. The industry has also welcomed the Budget announcement to create a corpus fund for Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund. However, dairy farmers have underlined the need to treat the sector on par with farming and determine milk production cost using the same method used to calculate MSP (Minimum Support Price), as announced by the Finance Minister in the Budget.
“It is good that the government has announced to keep MSP of farm produces at 1.5 times of the cost. But we think milk should also be considered a crop and be included for determination of MSP at 1.5 times the cost. There is no formula to determine the cost of milk production and set a price for it. Currently, it is the market forces that determine the cost of milk production,” said RS Sodhi, MD, Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation.
He, however, noted that funding for infrastructure development in the dairy sector is a positive step that will boost the milk supply chain. “Infrastructure funding for animal husbandry and dairy is a good step. After Operation Flood, there has not been any major investment for dairy infrastructure in the country,” Sodhi added. Infrastructure for animal husbandry will include supply-chain infrastructure, logistics, quality testing, processing plants and storage facilities.
Dairy farmers will gain from the plan to extend KCC facility to animal husbandry, said RG Chandramogan, CMD, Hatsun Agro Products. He said this will give dairy farmers access to organised sector credit. Milk gives dairy farmers daily fund flow which middle men tend to exploit. Extending KCC facility to animal husbandry is an acknowledgement that the government has recognised animal husbandry as a farming activity, he said.
Sunil Reddy, MD, Dodla Dairy, said the support announced will have a positive impact on the sector. Creating a focussed facility for infrastructure development for animal husbandry means the government is looking at enhancing the quality and productivity of output. The attention is now at the farm level where it is most needed. Domestic milk prices are in the top five globally. The focus on increasing quality and output will help the domestic industry become more competitive.
Source : Business line
Published on: February 7, 2018