Pune: State Minister for Animal Husbandry, Dairy Development and Fisheries Development Mahadev Jankar on Saturday said dairy farmers should get Rs 65 per litre for cow milk and Rs 72 per litre for buffalo milk.
He was speaking at a conference on issues plaguing farmers at Agriculture College organised by Navbharat and BVG group.
“Once Maharashtra was at the forefront in dairy produce. But over the years, the lawmakers forgot the interest of the people and turned to personal interests, in the process, ruining the dairy sector and it went to the seventh position,” Jankar said, adding,
“A brand like Aarey was ignored by a dairy minister and the benefits were diverted to a brand of his father’s name.”
He said unless the next generation of farmers become industrialists, there will be no end to their woes.
“A farmer today is treated with disdain by financial institutions. Banks and investors are comfortable investing in conventional industries but when a young farmer approaches them for a loan for any agro product, they deny him finance. People marry their daughters to a peon in a government office, but not with a farmer,” Jankar said.
State Minister for Cooperatives, Marketing and Textiles, Subhash Deshmukh was also present at the conference. He said that apart from a few farmers, the situation of farmers is terrible.
Deshmukh said, “Farmers need to know about soil studies so that the exact quality of soil is known and exorbitant use of fertilisers and thus the input costs are reduced.”
He said farmers don’t need sops. “They need to be trained for efficient use of input materials, understanding of nature of soil, cheaper seeds and a feasible support price. Farmers need to use water and electricity more efficiently and the University should take initiative for spreading this awareness. The current government’s work is reflected in the increased tonnage of sugarcane. Now we need to focus on the processing industry,” he said.
Sadabhau Khot, State Agriculture Minister, said the State government began schemes with rural focus.
“When talking on the health of agriculture, I would say that the desire for aggressive output and yields has caused this distress. Extensive use of chemicals damaged the soil. The farmer knew how to cultivate but not to sell and the government has an erratic import-export policy. These things have resulted in distress,” Khot said.