Considering the impracticability of raising milk prices, the Kerala government is set to give dairy farmers subsidies for the entire 2022-23 financial year in coordination with allied departments, Animal Husbandry and Dairy Development Minister J. Chinchurani said today.
As Kerala continues to fetch farmers the highest price for milk vis-à-vis any other state in the country, any further increase in the market rates will risk the influx of economical dairy products. All the same, the government is aware that farmers’ income from the sale of milk is not on par with the cost of maintaining cattle. Hence the administration has decided to provide subsidies to farmers by roping in the Animal Husbandry and Dairy Development departments with Milma and local self-government institutions, the Minister said here while inaugurating a seminar by Kerala Feeds Ltd (KFL).
“We have made arrangements to ensure that the subsidies reach the bank accounts of the farmers directly,” she revealed at the opening session of the day-long symposium on ‘Cattle-feed: Quality, Price & Availability’.
Noting that scarcity of maize as a key raw material for cattle-feed has been a lingering operational problem for the public-sector KFL, Chinchurani said efforts have started to grow the cereal grain on a wide scale in the state. “KFL has conveyed to us its willingness to purchase any amount of maize,” she added, revealing that a delegation of scientists from top institutions of the country is to arrive in Kerala this weekend as part of implementing the idea.
Women cattle-care workers under the Animal Husbandry Department are poised to get extra income from next month for their efforts to sell more of KFL products to dairy farmers, the Minister said. The PSU is training the workers on giving the requisite skills.
Using Kisan Credit Card, farmers can avail loans of Rs 20,000 to buy a cow. The innovative scheme enables them to individually enjoy collateral-less loans up to Rs 1.60 lakh at just four per cent interest, she pointed out.
Also, all blocks in the state are set to a veterinary ambulance, while there will be a district-level operation theatre for cattle, besides tele-veterinary units with X-ray facilities. Pathanamthitta district will pilot an imaginative scheme by launching a nano-chip that will provide all relevant information about the cattle, the Minister added.
KFL Chairman K. Sreekumar, who presided over the function, said uncontrolled rise in the prices of raw materials is challenging the financial security of the 1999-founded company headquartered in this district. The government should implement a law that would regulate the prices of cattle-feed products, he added.
KFL Managing Director Dr B. Sreekumar, in his opening remarks, pointed out that the government’s stance has been to sell the PSU’s 50-kg cattle-feed bags at prices that are 160 rupees less than the private competitors. The official welcomed the government’s move to include fodder promoters and women cattle-care workers in KFL’s products sales promotion during their routine interaction with dairy farmers.
Rafi Paul, Joint Director/Quality Manager, Dairy Development Department, also spoke.
At the workshop subsequently, KFL Marketing Manager Jayachandran B. and his deputy Shine S. Babu made presentations on the company’s products. The other speakers were KFL’s Assistant Manager (Quality Control) Dr Anuraj K.S. and Talents HR Solutions Pvt Ltd Executive Director Nidhin Krishna.
Today’s delegates came from the central-Kerala districts of Thrissur, Palakkad, Ernakulam, Malappuram, Idukki and Alappuzha.
KFL had organised a similar event earlier this week (May 24) at the state capital for the benefit of delegates from Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Kannur and Kasaragod districts.
The PSU, which is based in Kallettumkara near Irinjalakuda, has a range of products that cater to different breeds of cows with the aim of keeping them in good health as well as better productivity and quality of milk.
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