Pashu Sandesh, 05th July 2018
As a protest against low procurement price of milk, Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghtana (SSS) a Farmers organization of Maharashtra threatened to block the supply of milk across the state from 16 July onwards. SSS officials declared that all dairies in the state, whether cooperative or private, will not be allowed to collect milk from farmers. Apart from this the milk coming from neighbouring states will also be blocked. The organization's main demand is that state government should provide a subsidy of Rs 5 per litre of milk to the milk producers of the state.
Raju Shetti, president of SSS said that at present, dairy farmers of Maharashtra are paid somewhere between Rs 17 to Rs 20 per litre of milk. Last year, the state had promised milk farmers a subsidy of Rs 7 per litre. The state government should keep its promise made to the dairy sector. He further added, the prices that the farmers are getting for a litre of milk are less than that of packaged drinking water. “While a bottle of water costs Rs 20, a farmer is paid merely Rs 17-18 per litre for milk. We are going to block all the major milk supply routes across the state to make the government pay attention to our demands” said Shetti.
Shetti said “Around 3 crore litres of milk is collected across the state on a daily basis and this shall be stopped unless the state pays heed to our demand. All dairies in the state, whether cooperative or private, will not be allowed to collect milk from farmers” He said that the protesters will be blocking three major roads leading to Mumbai – the Mumbai-Nashik Highway, the Mumbai-Pune Highway, and the Mumbai-Surat Highway and stop the milk tankers. Milk tankers from Gujarat and Karnataka will also not be allowed to enter the state, he said. Mumbai’s requirement is around 70 lakh litres a day. Gujarat supplies around 10-15 lakh litres and Karnataka supplies about 5 lakh litres of milk to Maharashtra every day.