1. Agriculture World

Tamil Nadu's Milk Production Drops By 30% Due to Monsoon, Foot & Mouth Disease

Even as the severity of the Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) outbreak among cattle is being assessed by the Animal Husbandry department, milk production across the State has fallen by around 30 per cent.

Ayushi Raina
Milk Factory
Milk Factory

Even as the Animal Husbandry department assesses the severity of the Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) outbreak among cattle, milk output in the state has dropped by approximately 30%. 

According to industry sources, the output dropped due to the lack of grazing owing to the monsoon and FMD outbreak. According to an official press release, while around 100 cattle have been detected with FMD so far, over one lakh have been treated for various other ailments during special camps held in October and November. 

"Over the last two weeks, Aavin milk procurement has fallen from 41 lakh litres per day to 32-34 lakh litres. Protein supplement concentrate is no match for natural grazing. The spread of FMD in a few districts significantly reduced milk productivity "Aavin MD KS Kandasamy said. He did, however, assure Aavin customers a constant supply of milk. 

Until March last year, the State's daily milk production stood at 2.1 crore litres, of which 25 lakh litres were used by dairy farmers. While the state-owned Aavin obtained around 36 lakh litres, the remainder was acquired by private dairy firms for the commercial market. 

So far, 45 lakh litres have been delivered to hotels, tea shops, hospitals, and other commercial institutions, with 35-45 lakh litres sold through retailers. A total of 60-62 lakh litres were utilized to produce goods such as ghee, milk powder, butter, sweets, and other commodities sold under various brands. Daily demand, which had dropped to 1.2 crore litres during the lockdown, has lately risen to 1.9 crore. 

Surprisingly, despite the decline in production, private milk producers have reduced milk procurement prices, according to sources. "Private milk firms have been changing procurement prices according to their whims and fancies." While Aavin charges Rs.32 per litre, private milk companies charge only Rs.24-27 per litre, according to S Kandavel, a dairy farmer from Vellore. 

Meanwhile, cattle owners in Vellore and Tiruvannamalai districts reported that the Solids-Not-Fat (SNF) content of milk, which determines the market price of milk, has been shifting significantly over the last two months after calves displayed symptoms of FMD. 

The state general secretary of the Tamil Nadu Milk Producers Welfare Association, MG Rajendran, has urged that the government to set a minimum support price (MSP) for milk. "Currently, private companies purchase more than 84% of the milk produced in the state. The government could consider about expanding its procurement share by selling milk powder through PDS outlets "He said. 

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