Floods disrupt milk supply by 35-40% in Maharashtra

Supply of milk in Kolhapur and Sangli , which were hit by floods last week, has been reduced by 35-40 per cent, according to a Financial Express report.

Milk procurement of Kolhapur’s prominent dairy producers Warana Dairy has fallen sharply by at least 1.50 lakh litres. Normally, the daily collection is around 4.75 lakh litres and it has been reduced to some 3.25 lakh litres to 3.50 lakh litres. There is also an acute shortage of green fodder that has been destroyed during flood. Warna supplies around 2 lakh litres to Mumbai and 20,000 litres to Pune.

According to traders, cattle have been drinking contaminated water and have fallen sick. The industry may require at least three years to come out of this crisis.

Gokul Dairy’s daily procurement has been hit by around 1.30 lakh litres from an average of around 4 lakh litres. Disruption in transportation due to damaged roads, closure of routes and, to some extent, shortage of fodder have also hit supply.

Sangli and Kolhapur are the major milk producing districts in Maharashtra accounting for 40% share of the 1.5 crore litres of milk collected in the state daily.

Prakash Kutwal, secretary, Maharashtra Milk Producers and Processors Association, said that buffalo milk supply has been hit by around 20% and the shortage may remain for another 15-20 days. “Our procurement prices were earlier Rs 25 per litre (Rs 20 from the dairy and Rs 5 per litre subsidy from the government). Now there is no subsidy and yet the procurement prices have gone upto Rs 28 per litre but the consumer price shall remain the same at Rs 44 per litre,” he said, adding that the dealer margins have reduced from Rs 12 per litre to Rs 8-9 per litre.

The Maharashtra Milk Producers and Processors Association had stepped up efforts to ensure that the supply of milk in the state is not affected because of the floods. Most of the other local dairies have stepped up collection to ensure that the consumers do not suffer and the supply was smooth. The association had also written to all dealers in the state exhorting them not to take advantage of the current situation to hike milk prices.

Shekhar Ghosh is consulting editor, Indoasiancommodities.com. He has edited and written for publications like Business India, Business Standard, Business Today, Outlook and many other international publications. He can be reached at shekhar.ghosh@indoasiancommodities.in.

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