News

Liquid milk to go up by Rs. 7 per litre from November

  • Farmers cite expenses for vitamins/minerals, Rs. 200 K buying cost of milch cow 

By Dinitha Rathnayake 

All Ceylon Farmers’ Federation National Organiser Namal Karunaratne claimed that the Government has agreed to increase the price of a litre of liquid milk by Rs. 7.

Speaking to The Morning, he said that the Government had earlier reduced the liquid milk price by Rs. 20 due to company demands.

“We see that the Government only considers companies, and not the farmers who have been doing this business for a long time. They need to spend a lot of money for vitamins and minerals for the milch cows, and spend Rs. 200,000 to buy a milch cow. No one is concerned about these costs.“

Meanwhile, Karunaratne also added that the Government only provides compensation for companies and not the farmers: “Recently, the Government allowed companies to bring 3,000 milch cows and gave 8,000 acres to feed the cows, including 50% compensation.” 

However, farmers in Hambantota and Monaragala are also facing difficulties in feeding the cows, according to Karunaratne.

Liquid milk was bought at a price of Rs. 50-60 a litre from the farmers, whereas the selling price has increased up to Rs. 400 a litre.

The management of Milco (Pvt.) Ltd., under which Highland milk is a brand, has also moved to increase the price of liquid milk sourced from local farmers by Rs. 7 per litre with effect from 1 November. Accordingly, Milco will direct officials in milk collecting centres islandwide to increase the price for the liquid milk produced by local farmers. 

Milco Chairman Lasantha Wickramasinghe said that the decision to increase the liquid milk price was taken following repeated requests made by large and small-scale liquid milk producers and village farmers. The urgent need for a price hike for milk produced by them was owing to the unbearable cost incurred on grass, cow food, medicines, vitamins, labour charges, and transportation. 

Meanwhile, Milk Cow Farmer Protectors’ Association Chairman Susantha Kumara expressed his dissatisfaction over the announcement of a Rs. 7 price increase by Milco, and said that owing to the high cost borne by milk producers and cattle farmers in producing liquid milk, the authorities should increase such by at least Rs. 15-20 per litre.