Maharashtra’s Minister for Dairy Development, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries Sunil Kedar has called a meeting between dairies and farmers representatives to discuss the issue of low procurement price of milk. The meeting which is to be held on July 21 will see the minster taking stock of the milk situation in the state.
Low sales due to extended lockdowns have forced dairies in the state to slash the procurement price they pay to their farmers. Barring a few dairies in Western Maharashtra, most dairies are now paying their farmers between Rs 18-22.50/- per litre of milk with 3.5 per cent fat and 8.5 percent SNF (Solid-not-fat). This is against the government’ dictate of paying farmers at the rate of Rs 25/- per litre.
The state government has started procuring excess milk from dairies and converting the same to Skimmed Milk Powder (SMP). Dairies who are paying their farmers a base price of Rs 25/- are eligible for the program. However, dairies have taken to reduce their procurement prices given the low sales due to the lockdown in many areas.
Farmers organizations have started agitating in various parts of the state On Monday the All India Kisan Sabha the farmer’s wing of CPI(M) led agitations with Swabhimani Shetkari SanghSanghatana the farmers’ outfit led by former MP Raju Shetti has called for a similar agitation on July 21.