SalemCoimbatore: It's a white revolution of sorts in Tamil Nadu as dairy farmers are flooding the state-owned Aavin with milk once again.Aavin has increased the procurement of milk from farmers by a whopping 4.4 lakh litres this month. After the Tamil Nadu government conceded the demands of the dairy farmers and steeply raised the procurement price of milk, at least 35,000 farmers who had abandoned Aavin for private dairies a few months ago have trooped back to the state-owned Aavin.
" The procurement of milk is picking up well after the increase in procurement price. The procurement has increased by 4.4 lakh litres this month," Aavin managing director Sunil Paliwal told Deccan Chronicle.Aavin's procurement which had dipped to 20.6 lakh litres this October soared to 25.37 lakh litres on November 25. " We are averaging 25 lakh litres of procurement since November 1 ," the Aavin MD said.
In the remote hamlet of Beddanaickanpalayam in Salem district, 36-year-old dairy farmer, Jayakumar, is knocking the doors of Aavin again. "I have started supplying 50 litres of milk to Aavin now,"gleams Jayakumar, who rears 10 cows in his farm. Till last month, the Aavin's procurement rate was far too less than the private diaries. While the private diaries offered Rs28 per litre for cow's milk, Aavin offered just Rs23 per litre.
As for buffalo's milk, while Aavin paid just Rs31 per litre, the private dairies offered Rs 4 more, making Aavin less competitive. "So, I was forced to supply milk to private diaries. But now I am back with Aavin,"says Jayakumar. From November 1, Aavin has been paying `28 per litre for cow's milk and `35 for buffalo's milk on par with the private players.
As India celebrates the birth anniversary of Kurien, the father of white revolution in the country, a positive tale of renewed hope emerges from the five lakh dairy farmers in Tamil Nadu. "Hundreds of farmers who had gone to private diaries have started to supply for the 17 cooperative unions of the Aavin again. The milk procurement has gone up. The government should raise the procurement price for buffalo milk a little more to save the buffalos whose population is fast declining in Tamil Nadu,"says Tamil Nadu Milk Producers Association's general secretary M.G. Rajendran.
At the Salem milk cooperative union, the milk supplies have soared by one lakh litres over the last 25 days. "After the government raised the procurement price, farmers are supplying one lakh litres more milk every day" K.Shanthi, the Aavin general manager in Salem, told Deccan Chronicle. The Aavin's procurement which was 3.94 lakh litres has gone up to 4.94 lakh litres in Salem.
Also, the Aavin is now taking efforts to pay the farmers within 10 days of supply. "The farmers are sent an sms regarding the payments and they are paid within 10 days," said the Aavin general manager. In the past, the farmers had to wait for weeks and months for getting their payments.
In Coimbatore, the milk procurement has zoomed by 40,000 litres- from 1.98 lakh to 2.20 lakh litres per day. "Every day there is an increase of 500 to 1,000 litres in procurement,"says C. Siraj, who recently retired as Aavin General Manager in Coimbatore.
We are incurring loss due to price hike: Milk parlours
The hike in milk price appears to have dented the sales in Aavin parlours.The milk buyers at the booths have marginally dropped. Most Aavin parlours have not raised the tea and coffee prices despite the increase in price of milk. "We face a loss of Rs1,000 everyday. If we hike the tea and coffee rates, our customers won't come to our parlours. So we have retained the tea rate at Rs 8 and coffee at Rs10," said A.Elangovan, an employee of an Aavin parlour on Mettupalayam road in Saibaba Colony.
"After the hike in milk prices, we are incurring a loss of `500 a day," chipped in Bala Murugan of the Aavin milk booth on Bharathi Park road. However, officials say that the demand for Aavin milk would increase once again as its quality remains unmatched by private diaries.
Location: Tamil Nadu