The Fiji Co-operative Dairy Company Limited (FCDCL) has welcomed the news that farmers will now receive a 15 per cent increase in the farmgate price of milk.

“We are delighted with this outcome that has been a long time coming. Farmers have been burdened with a low milk purchase price of $0.92 cents VIP which has made it difficult for farmers to invest in replacing cattle lost to TB or upgrade their farms which has resulted in a drop in national milk production,” said FCDCL Chairman Simon Cole.

“With a price increase to $1.06 VIP per litre effective 3rd Feb ($0.97 VEP), it will substantially increase their income and provide a huge shot in the arm for the industry.”

Cole thanked the members of the Dairy Industry Leadership Group, (MoA, FCDCL, FDL and Prime Consultants) for their efforts in helping to bring about the price increase, and especially thanked the Minister for Agriculture, Dr Mahendra Reddy, “who took time out of a busy schedule to meet farmers on Christmas Eve” as an indication of his commitment to change.

With the new added income, FCDCL would work with the farmers to maximize the benefits from the new pricing. “We are currently working on a package of investments and innovative extension methods with the MoA to help farmers restore the industry.”

Cole urged farmers to start investing in the dairy industry.

“With all the challenges they have faced, they can now see light at the end of the tunnel. A rejuvenated dairy industry is now well within our reach.

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