Milk will be costlier across Orissa from today. The packaged milk will be costlier by Rs 2 a litre from September 23. The proposed increase in the milk prices by the state-owned Orissa State Cooperative Milk Producer Federation Limited (OMFED) will benefit around 2.54 lakh milk producers in the state as the federation has decided to provide over 87 percent of the hiked price to the producers.
Omfed has decided to increase prices by Rs 2 per litre, adding to the woes of the common man after the diesel price hike. Omfed had increased milk prices last in October 2011.
The milk producers had demanded a hike of Rs 6 per liter in the procurement price to bring it at par with the price offered by other private procurement agencies like Seashore in Orissa and Bijaya Visakha Dairy Cooperative in Andhra Pradesh. The union officials feared the milk producers would divert their supply to other procurement agencies in districts like Gajapati, Rayagada and Koraput, which are offering higher prices than OMFED.
Now consumers have to pay Rs 24 instead of Rs 22 for a litre of double-toned milk, while toned milk will be Rs 26 instead of Rs 24 per litre. However, the price rise is not applicable to consumers of Rourkela dairy area, Joda, Barbil and Koira areas.
The farmers who are presently getting a minimum of Rs 16.75 for average quality whole milk will earn Rs 18.50 after the hike, an additional Rs 1.75 on every litre of whole milk that they sell to Omfed.
Omfed sources said the price of milk was increased to give reasonable purchase value of milk to about 2.62 lakh registered milk farmers of Omfed in rural areas of the state.
OMFED chief Sahu, however, said OMFED was providing several “invisible benefits” to the members of the societies. The benefits like subsidy in cattle feed; growing grass and health check up and medicines for the animals are being provided under different government schemes, he added.