Milk, a basic non-elastic product carrying nutrition and vital supplements, is consumed as an important part of diet everywhere in the world. It acts as a calcium supplement, helping bones and teeth to strengthen. According to statistics calculated in 2016, every year Earth consumes estimated 223 Billion Metric Tons of Milk.
Milk is such a product that it even has effects on some countries GDPs! India and USA are the two current highest milk producers in the world, and with technological advancements, with the state and corporate help, they will soon be the leading markets in other dairy products.
Sadly in the world’s 5th largest city by size and the world’s 3rd most populated city, Karachi, faces extreme conditions to the basic requirement of milk. I myself being a dairy farmer would not object to the estimated fact that only 4-5% of this city’s residents have access to pure and farm fresh milk. So, what makes such a basic necessity a scarcity?
Karachi Me Milk Retailers Ne Wholesalers Se Milk Khareedna Bund Kardia, 95 Rs. Fi-Litre Khareed Kar 85 Rupe Me Farokht Nai Kar Sakte, Retailers
— City News (@CityNews24Khi) March 15, 2018
There are many sides to this great tragedy, but we’ll start from the top. Government of Sindh Livestock and Fisheries Department has no role what so ever in the ever growing issues a farmer faces, let it be basic vaccination, the 327% increase in fodder rates since 2011, no subsidies no loans to dairy farmers keep the farmers anxious, as to what may happen the next minute.
Livestock all over the world is a very high-risk business, such businesses should promise high return yet the case is far from even meeting the break even.
With changing fodder rates every week and depleting rate of milk in the market the farmers have started to bail out, causing a slow but serious depletion in the milk supply.
The markets major blow was when the respectable Supreme Court of Pakistan banned the use of hormonal injections to animals on January 7th 2018. Hormonal injections were granted import license back in 2005 and were in use ever since. These injections increased the yield of an animal unnaturally and were being used by almost all the farmers supplying milk to Karachi.
Milk crisis has hit #Karachi as the dairy vendors are on a strike due to increase in price in the wholesale market. Due to strike customers were seen waiting helplessly outside the closed shops hoping for the strike to be called off so that they could buy milk. pic.twitter.com/BgC1qtiCm7
— timesofpakistan (@timesofpak123) March 15, 2018
The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan had regulated, permitted and even promoted the use of this drug when it had started being imported 13 years ago. Being a farmer and seeing the constant use of such unnatural doses to livestock gave these animals the kick to produce more then there natural consumption. It is just like an animal developing its addiction to alcohol. Thus, as soon as the plug got pulled all the livestock hung-over in dire need of the dose that isn’t available anymore legally.
In this stage, the yield of the livestock dropped drastically which by now has almost reached 30%! The situation is such that sick livestock, consuming the same amount of fodder, requiring the same amount of labor and other expenditure, but the production has depleted drastically.
The farmers helpless decided to file petitions and negotiate with the city’s commissioner for increasing the fixed rate of this homogenous product.
Sometimes only basic measurements such as the state being the middle men can keep the system at bay, or subsidizing fodder or vaccination to decrease the cost of production for betterment of its own public.
We also run a dairy shop in Shadman Town, North Karachi. Where the retailors are also troubled for selling milk above the set rate, they are arrested by police and threatened often beaten and then released in exchange of a handsome bribe or as I would call it a ransom.
Retailer often are provided milk above or just around the retail rate set by the government. In such circumstances the retailor either sells milk at a higher rate or adulterates the milk against will to keep it in the government set rate. For a retailor to completely be safe of the police and the unjust rate, we registered our brand, invested in food graded packaging and sealed the milk to hopefully increase the peoples to access pure, unadulterated and hormone free milk!
Yet still, the majority of public would prefer price over their families’ health! Now who is to blame exactly confuses the simple mind I possess.
By Talha Ahmed Wajeeh – AllPure Milk®