The protest is to highlight the exploitation and financial losses faced by dairy farmers, who are currently being paid almost Rs 10 to 15 per litre less from the actual Rs 25 to Rs 27 per litre rate by cooperative and private milk producers.
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Most dairies have agreed that the procurement price is going to increase in the next few weeks as demand picks up. (File)

The Kisan Sabha will hold a statewide demonstration on June 17 to protest against the steep decline in the milk procurement rates by private and cooperative milk federations.

The decision to organise a pan-Maharashtra stir was taken at a state council meeting to highlight the exploitation and financial losses faced by dairy farmers, who are currently being paid almost Rs 10 to 15 per litre less from the actual Rs 25 to Rs 27 per litre rate by cooperative and private milk producers.

“The cooperative and private milk producers are buying milk from dairy farmers at lower rates citing shortage of demand. The dairy farmers are getting Rs 10 to 15 less per litre,” Kisan Sabha general secretary Ashok Dhawale said Tuesday.

The protests, the farmers’ body said, will be outside the tehsil office in every district and taluka. “The demonstration will take place by adhering to the Covid-19 guidelines,” Dhawale said.

Although dairy farmers are paid less, consumers continue to shell more money for milk, he said. “The government should conduct an audit to verify if there is really a mismatch between supply and demand. And if so, what are the profit and loss percentage incurred by these milk companies,” Dhawale added.

During the agitation, the Kisan Sabha will also raise issues related to shortage of fertilizers and seeds during Kharif sowing, steep hike in petrol and diesel prices, non-disbursement of “khavti karz” which is a special loan sanctioned to people in the tribal belt among others.

THE Dairy Industry Code of Conduct has brought about a “significant culture change” within the dairy sector and helped increase competition at the farmgate, according to Australian Competition & Consumer Commission deputy chair Mick Keogh.

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