Too many cooks spoil the broth, or the milk in this case, which is what is emerging in the row between the City District Government Karachi (CDGK) and dairy farmers. The milk producers have now started to insist that the people who provide the raw material should also be factored into the pricing mechanism.
For a while now the fight has been over the cost of production and the shop price for milk with the CDGK upset that retailers are selling it for Rs66 per litre even though it set the price at Rs60.
Karachi Dairy Farmers Welfare Association’s Sikandar Nagori explained that by raw materials they mean several items. Green fodder costs Rs135 for a 36kg pack and one buffalo consumes up to 8kg per day. Wheat straw costs Rs325 per 40kg and a buffalo uses 8kg a day. The concentrate (cotton seed, oil cake, rape seed, sunflower cake, canola, pulses and husk) costs Rs23 per day. Then there are medical expenses of Rs10.50 per day. Water and power cost Rs3 and Rs6, respectively. Other expenses such cleanliness, washing, management and labour come to Rs25 per day.
“People should get the real picture of the difficulties,” Nagori told The Express Tribune.
For their part, however, the CDGK says that it is following a procedure. “We only follow the set procedures to determine prices and everyone cannot be taken on board,” said EDO Dr Saifur Rehman for enterprises and investment promotions. “The government has defined the procedure and the stakeholders join the CDGK to review and revise prices.”
The EDO’s department has submitted 3,000 complaints against overpriced milk.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 18th, 2011.