The SSS has sought a subsidy of Rs 5 per litre of milk while announcing a special package to offset their losses.
Former Minister of State for Agriculture and Rayat Kranti Sanghatana leader Sadabhau Khot on Tuesday announced an agitation for milk prices from August 13 to August 28. The Sangahatana, which is a BJP ally, has demanded a subsidy of Rs 10 per litre into farmer accounts and Rs 30 per litre for cow milk from milk producers.
The Covid-19 outbreak has led to a war between farmers and milk cooperatives and private dairies that have slashed prices of procurement and farmers have, therefore, demanded the intervention of the state government.
Addressing an online press conference, Khot said that farmers will send 5 lakh letters to chief minister Uddhav Thackeray seeking justice for farmers. The procurement prices in the state vary across the state.
Dairies in Kolhapur pay farmers Rs 26 per litre while others end up paying farmers Rs 25 per litre. The procurement prices for private dairies vary between Rs 19 per litre, Rs 20 per litre and Rs 21 per litre. But the private dairies are paying farmers only Rs 18 per litre due to the lack of demand.
The State has about 46 lakh milk producer farmers and milk dairies which earlier purchased milk at Rs 33-34 litre and have reduced the procurement price to Rs 16-18 per litre after the Covid-19 outbreak. With the hotel industry almost shut due to the lockdown, milk producers say they are being paid Rs 10-15 less than their cost price. Milk sales have dropped by around 40% in the lockdown period, according to Raju Shetti of the Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana (SSS).
The BJP’s allies are seeking Rs 10 per litre subsidy for milk. The demand comes in wake of steep decline in milk prices. The SSS has sought a subsidy of Rs 5 per litre of milk while announcing a special package to offset their losses. Maharashtra’s average daily collection is around 1.30 crore litres. Of this around 60% is sold to retail through pouches. Around 47 lakh litres of milk remains unsold.
Ajit Navale, secretary general, All India Kisan Sabha, Maharashtra unit said that their outfit will not participate in this agitation and another meeting would be held by the end of the week to decide on their on their line of agitation.