The Telegraph
Tuesday , July 24 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Milk prices rise after floods destroy dairies

Jorhat, July 23: Several dairy farms in the organised sector in chaporis (sandbars) and near the Brahmaputra bank have been destroyed by the recent floods.

As a result, milk is in short supply, affecting people as well as restaurants and hotels. The rise in the price of milk has also led to an increase in prices of sweets.

The price of milk, which was around Rs 35 per litre in first half of June in most of the Upper Assam districts, has now gone up to around Rs 45.

The rise in the price of milk has led to an increase in prices of most of the sweets made of milk with a hike between Rs 2 and Rs 3.

Subham Saha, owner of a leading restaurant here, said the fall in supply of milk has hit their business hard. “We have not been able to take bulk orders of sweets because of the scarcity,” Saha said.

Dairy development department sources said the floods have affected the unorganised sector more than the organised sector.

Sources said farms run by clusters (with each cluster formed by a group of entrepreneurs) in the organised sector has received government support in many ways starting from training, bank-linkage, instruments, medical care and have insurance cover to recover its losses from floods.

Dairy development officer (Jorhat), whose office has jurisdiction over Golaghat district too, said normally Jorhat district produces 90,000 litres in the both the sectors.

He said there is a shortfall of nearly 1 lakh litres every day. The official said of the total production of milk in Jorhat district, only the organised sector produces only 6,000 litres.

Bora said there has been a shortfall of nearly 500 litres in the organised sector.He said his office has received information that there has been a 50 per cent fall in supply in the unorganised sector.

The official said Golaghat district normally produces 70,000 litres per day, leaving a shortfall of 50,000 litres daily.

He said only about 8,000 litres of milk are from the organised sector, the supply of which has come down to 3,500 to 4,000 litres after the floods as mostly the farms were near the Brahmaputra.

Bora said according to information received by his office, the drop in supply in the unorganised sector in Golaghat district has been more than 50 per cent.

The officer said at present, 1,328 people belonging to 54 clusters in both the districts were supplying milk in the organised sector under government support.

In 2009, the department had set up two outlets — one each in both the districts — and after receiving overwhelming response the department opened more four such outlets in the districts in recent times.

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