Pune: With farmers claiming that they have not been paid for milk prices, as per the government resolution (GR) of June 2017, they have decided to go on an indefinite fast outside the office of the Cooperative Commissioner, near Pune station. The GR states that the procurement price for cow milk has been increased from Rs 24 to Rs 27 per litre, and buffalo milk from Rs 33 to Rs 36 per litre.
However, farmers claim that they are getting Rs 20-21 per litre for cow milk and Rs 26 per litre for buffalo milk. Haridas Pawar of Shetkari Sanghtana said that the milk cooperatives are cheating the farmers and so the government should intervene.
“We want the implementation of the GR as assured by the government so that we get fair rates. As per the Cooperative Societies Act, if they do not follow the guidelines of the government, action can be taken against the societies,” added Pawar.
Farmers said that the production cost of a litre of milk goes up to Rs 37 per litre. The production cost includes the price of fodder, transportation, labour and other charges. The procurement prices were raised by Rs 3 per litre in June, after the government was pressurised by farmers’ groups. The government had then assured consumers that the burden of the increase would not be passed on to them.
Currently, the retail/sale price of cow milk is Rs 40-Rs 45 per litre and buffalo milk is around Rs 55 per litre. Most of the milk supply to cities like Mumbai and Pune comes from cooperative dairies, which source it from farmers.