Dairy farmers no longer want ‘cosmetic solutions’

Dairy farmers no longer want ‘cosmetic solutions’

PUNE: The Dudh Utpadak Shetkari Sangharsh Samiti, a body representing dairy farmers, has said that the latest circular by the government for forming a ‘stabilisation fund’ for the dairy sector is another ‘cosmetic solution’ to the problems of the farmers. The samiti has suggested the government to undertake an overall policy change rather than short-term solutions like these.

On June 13, the government came out with a notification announcing a ‘stabilisation fund’ for the dairy sector. The notification says that the fund will be made up from a ‘milk price stabilisation cess’ that will be deducted from the sale of milk by cooperatives during the phases of overproduction of milk, to be used as a stabiliser for the possible losses of the slack period.

The samiti says that by pushing the complete responsibility off its shoulders on the cooperatives, the government is avoiding responsibility. The government will not contribute a single rupee to this fund. The samiti also says that there is no clarity in the notification as to how much deduction will be made from the cost of milk, which means organisations could get away by making a token deduction of a single paisa and get away.

The statement released by the samiti says that this is the third such attempt by the government to obfuscate the dairy farmers protest for a better rate of return on milk. The earlier decision was to provide a subsidy of three rupees per litre of milk for milk powder producers which will produce 20 per cent more powder compared to the month of March, the deadline for which is over and it is yet to benefit anyone.

The samiti also said that the circular asks the cooperatives to pay farmers at least 26 rupees and 10 paise per litre of milk but the cooperatives have rejected the suggestion. The samiti urges the government not to insult farmers time and again by cosmetic measures and to directly transfer a per litre subsidy to the farmers instead. The letter is signed by Ajit Nawale, Dhananjay Dhorde, Anil Dethe, Umesh Deshmukh and other members of the samiti.

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