1. Agriculture World

Dairy Farmers in Punjab Demand Hike in Milk Prices

Sadarpura had earlier in the day stated that milk prices have been same for the previous two years, but input prices, particularly feed prices, have nearly risen.

Shruti Kandwal
Farmers from throughout the state gathered outside the Verka milk facility in Mohali.
Farmers from throughout the state gathered outside the Verka milk facility in Mohali.

Punjab dairy farmers protested in front of the Verka milk facility in Mohali on Saturday, demanding an increase in milk procurement costs.

Though the AAP government declared on Saturday that the procurement price will be increased to ₹20 per kilograms of milk fat, protesting farmers dismissed the announcement as insufficient, demanding a jump of at least ₹100 per kilograms.

Farmers from throughout the state gathered outside the Verka milk facility in Mohali under the banner of the Progressive Dairy Farmers' Association (PDFA).

In support of their demands, they blocked one side of the main route going to Chandigarh, causing commuters to be disrupted. The Verka milk plant's access gates were also stopped by protesters.

Farmers, on the other hand, called off their protest after receiving assurances from the administration late at night. "We have removed the dharna outside Verka milk factory because government officials have given us assurance and have asked us for a meeting on Monday," said Daljit Singh Sadarpura, head of the Progressive Dairy Farmers Association (PDFA).

Sadarpura had earlier in the day stated that milk prices have been same for the previous two years, but input prices, particularly feed prices, have nearly risen.

"Soybean prices have risen from ₹3,200 per quintal a year ago to ₹7,200 per quintal today. Similarly, other items' costs have risen, putting a strain on the dairy industry," Sadarpura said.

According to him, numerous dairy farmers who have been suffering from low returns have begun selling their cattle. The Covid-19 epidemic had a significant impact on the dairy industry, he said.

He suggested that the state government boost the purchase price by at least ₹100 per kilograms of milk fat.

"Due to the increase in fuel prices, the cost of operating machinery, such as tractors, has also increased. Farmers have been compelled to cease paying their bank loan payments owing to rising losses," the PDFA president stated, adding that the protest will continue until the government raises milk pricing.

According to Sadarpura, the Punjab State Cooperative Milk Producers Federation Limited (Milkfed) now pays dairy producers ₹730 per kilograms of fat.

Milkfed has already hiked costs by ₹50 per kilograms of fat since March of this year.

According to an official release, Punjab cooperation minister Harpal Singh Cheema informed farmers that more concrete actions would be made in the future for the benefit of milk producers.

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