“Farmers were getting Rs 30-35/litre for cow’s milk before lockdown. Now, after the unlocking, the situation is more or less back to normal and yet farmers are getting only Rs 17/litre,” said Dr Ajit Navale,general secretary, All India Kisan Sabha (Maharashtra).
The political parties in opposition in Maharashtra too have extended their support to the agitation for milk prices. The Mahayuti, led by former chief minister Devendra Fadanvis has threatened to intensify the agitation from August 1, if the agitation being held today does not help the cause of farmers.
The agitating farmers’ organisations have demanded a subsidy of Rs 10/litre to be paid directly to the farmers bank account, incentive of Rs 50/kg for export of milk powder. The dairy industry is irked by the decision of the central government to allow import of 10,000 tonnes of milk powder at 15% tariff when the country has huge stocks of milk powder. Large dairies have converted the excess milk they could not sell due to Covid induced demand destruction, into milk powder. Farmers’ organisations have demanded immediate halt on the milk powder imports.