Veteran Dairy Farmer Singh Wants Out If Price Not Increased

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TAILEVU – A farmer is seriously considering closing operations if the price he gets for milk supplied to the country’s only dairy company is not increased.

Jagindar Singh, 70, of Waimaro in Tailevu said dairy farmers get only 55 cents from Rewa Co-operative Dairy Company Limited for a litre of milk.

“But my cost for producing a litre of milk is about 80 cents and I somehow manage with the 17 cents subsidy given by the Government but in the end it just breaks even,” he said.

“Considering the amount of money I get from the company for a litre of milk and the cost of production, I am going at a loss.

“If they don’t increase the price of milk which I supply to the company, then I have no choice but to close my dairy business.”

Mr Singh said he spends a considerable amount of money in feeding his cows because the price of processed foods was high.

He said a 35 kilogram bag of mill mix costs $13.80, coconut meal costs $15.40 for a 25 kilogram bag and a 44 gallon drum of molasses costs $67.

“The price of molasses which I give to my cows has increased by $10 within one week and such an increase is just too much.”

Singh said of the close to 700 cattle he has, there are 240 milking cows which need processed food to produce milk because of unsuitable pasture.

“I have started losing interest in dairy farming because it’s not profitable and I will simply stop it if the price of milk I supply is not increased.

“The Government should seriously look into the dairy industry if milk production has to increase for the betterment of the country’s economy. We know that the government wants the country to be self sufficient in milk production but things don’t look good right now.”

Singh said he would be better off in concentrating on his other businesses instead of continuing with dairy farming.