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Amul vs Nandini Controversy: KMF Chairman Rules out ‘Merger’ On Tuesday

On Tuesday, Balachandra Jarkiholi, the head of the Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF), denied the possibility of a merger between Amul and Nandini. He added that neither Amul nor any other privately held brands that sell fresh milk and curd posed a threat to the KMF-owned Nandini brand.

Vivek Singh
Controversy between Amul & Nandini in Karnataka; KMF chairman rules out the merger
Controversy between Amul & Nandini in Karnataka; KMF chairman rules out the merger

Jarkiholi accused political opponents of playing politics over Amul's "entrance" into Karnataka while speaking at a press conference in Belagavi. "More than 24 lakh farmers are KMF members, of which 10 lakhs are dairy farmers who supply milk daily. Almost 28,000 villages in Karnataka are connected to KMF's Nandini milk, and there are also over 15,000 dairy cooperative associations.

Around 40–50 lakh voters are personally involved in this procedure. By claiming that Amul and Nandini will merge, he said that in my opinion, opposition parties are playing politics and misleading the voters.

Furthermore, Amul was already conducting business in areas of Karnataka like Belagavi, according to Jarkiholi. But despite the existence of numerous private brands, he continued, "No brand can contend with Nandini."

Amul has been doing business in Belagavi for the past seven years, but they are having trouble selling even 500 litres of milk every day. In Bengaluru, milk is already available under ten different private brands. Considering this, the price differential between Nandini and everyone else prevents anyone from competing with her. The cheapest milk is being sold by Nandini, according to Jarkiholi, who also noted that this year's milk output was affected by cattle suffering from skin ailments in the summer. 

Additionally, the KMF chief stated, "We have gathered 75 lakh litres of milk this summer, which is around 60,000 litres less than the same period last year."

"I implore everyone to refrain from inflaming political divisions around Nandini and Amul,” he added. According to him, the KMF, which is formed with the collaboration of milk unions, was established to represent the interests of dairy farmers and the Nandini brand.

To help offset the high operating costs of manufacturing milk, cooperative members urged that the government raise the price of procurement by Rs 5 per litre. "Currently, milk producers receive Rs. 33 per litre. Yet, given the rising cost of food and other items also increases the demand for milk, milk farmers should ideally receive Rs. 38 per litre of milk. The unpredictable pricing of milk products is what consistently causes problems for dairy producers, according to a KMF member.

When Gujarat-based Amul announced its entry into Bengaluru's dairy product market, a dispute between Nandini and Amul erupted. These infuriated leaders of the opposing and pro-Kannada organizations, who saw Amul's arrival as a threat to the regional brand Nandini.

Read more about the controversy here: The Milk War: Amul vs Nandini Controversy Explained

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