An increase in the input cost over the last couple of years could result in a hike in Nandini milk, marketed by the Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF). While all the district milk unions have sought a hike, the KMF board is meeting on Friday to discuss the issue even as KMF chairman Balachandra Jarkiholi on Thursday indicated that the proposed hike could be in the range of 2 to 3 per litre.
The last hike was in 2017 when the federation raised the price by 2 and 1 per litre in south and north Karnataka respectively. Currently, a litre of milk costs in the range of 35 to 37 in the State. Prior to the April 2017 hike, the KMF had implemented a steep hike of 4 per litre in January 2016.
Indicating a possible hike, Mr. Jarkiholi told presspersons that there was a proposal before the KMF board to increase the price. The hike has been sought to provide benefits to the farmers. The difference in the price of milk between KMF and private dairies is 10 per litre. After the board discussion, we will take the matter to the Chief Minister.
Sources said that the KMF, being an autonomous body, can resolve to price hike. However, as protocol, the KMF seeks an approval from the government before effecting it. The government can shoot down the proposal or modify it, said sources.
States among cheapest
Meanwhile, Narasimha Murthy, president of Bengaluru Milk Union, which was among the first to seek the price hike, said that over the last three years, input costs like feed and fodder had gone up. Compared to the neighbouring States where milk prices start from 40 a litre, Mr. Murthy said that despite the hike, Karnataka will still be among those with the lowest milk price.
He said that of the hike amount 75% will be transferred to the farmers and the rest will be kept to maintain operational cost. The proposal will be discussed on Friday. We are hopeful that our demands will be met, he added.
KMF chairman Balachandra Jarkiholi has said that they would appeal to the government to increase the financial incentive given to farmers by 1. The financial assistance to milk farmers was started in 2008 with 2 per litre during the earlier tenure of Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa, and is now at 5 a litre.
More products launched
The KMF, which markets a variety of dairy products under brand Nandini, on Thursday added more products to its portfolio. Among those launched by Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa included processed cheese blocks and cubes, mozzarella, indigenous milk, a variety of natural fruit ice creams, Greek yoghurt, and milk rusk.