Depending on the percentage of milk fat and the producer, a liter of long-lasting milk costs from 140 to 170 dinars. Recently, a bigger problem than the price of milk has been its shortage. The question arose – what about domestic production. Perhaps the price of one product would not be a problem if animal husbandry was not the engine of the development of the entire agriculture, and in an agrarian country, the entire economy.
Problems due to the price of milk for citizens begin on store shelves. For producers on farms and meadows. Too many arrows have flown to the milkers. They were decimated by the high cost of animal feed, the low purchase price of raw milk, stockpiles and delayed subsidies.
“The mass slaughter was from March to June, when the inputs increased enormously, and they paid a price of 20, 30 dinars for them. It was shameful, miserable and people went into debt and sold everything”, says Dejan Trajković. milk producer from the surroundings of Pancevo.
Buyers pay the lowest purchase price for milk to those who have the most – producers with a dozen heads. Serbia has only about a hundred farms with about 100 milking cows. Only they can count on the direct purchase of the dairy, i.e. without illegal intermediaries, and they currently receive 90 dinars per liter.
“Without 100, 120 dinars, according to producers, the price of milk is not a profitable production, and that is why production has declined and that is why there is no milk in Serbia”, says Dejan Trajković.
“When some people tell you who are the creators of agrarian policy that we have never had a higher milk price and why are farmers protesting, when in fact no one mentions the right side, the costs. In order for one cow to give a liter of milk, 400 liters need to pass through her udder own blood, then you know what energy is needed to achieve, say, a milk yield of 25 liters, so food is needed”, says Čedomir Keco, president of the Agroprofit Association.
Problems of the dairy industry
Insiders say that the problems of the dairy industry began at the end of the nineties with the collapse of the economic system. Privatization in 2000 officially separated primary producers from the processing industry, i.e. from dairy farmers.
“They make a profit all the time, their profit is 30, 40 percent compared to the price of milk, you can see it yourself in the stores, even when the merchants are grafted in. The solution is that the state must stand behind it”, says the professor. Dr. Vitomir Vitorović, from the Faculty of Agriculture in Novi Sad.
The share of animal husbandry in developed agriculture is from 60 to 70 percent, in our country it has fallen below 30 percent, and the former annual production of one billion and 500 million liters of milk now seems unattainable.
“Now it has decreased compared to last year by some 400, 500 million, depending on which data you look at, and this is a consequence of the drop in the number of milking cows by some 50,000 in the last few years”, says Nenad Budimović from PKS.
The processors made up for the lack of raw milk by importing it from Poland, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, and Croatia. The import of milk powder also increased.
It will take at least five years to restore the cattle stock, and we have not received a reply from any of the four largest dairies about what they plan to do in the meantime. Farmers hope to hear soon from the new minister what the state will do, RTS writes.