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Private dairies hurting farmers’ profit

Ever since the private dairies have made a foray into the market, farmers have to sell their products at cheap prices and are incurring heavy losses.

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The state dairies are facing severe financial crisis due to the government’s indifferent attitude. Seven thousand dairy workers, dealers, transporters are facing huge hardships due to the government’s apathy towards dairy sector. Since there is a shortage of milk and milk products people have to rely on private dairies. Earlier consumers used to procure milk from the government dairy and milk producers used to get better price for their product due to the absence of middle men. Ever since the private dairies have made a foray into the market farmers have to sell their products at cheap prices and are incurring heavy losses. As a result of this, farmers are finding it difficult to run dairy business and many of them have committed suicide since last three years.

On 4th March 1951 the government had established Aarey Dairy for processing and packing of milk collected from Aarey Milk Colony. Later on dairies were established at Worli, Kurla, Vidharbha and Konkan region of the state. Milk producers are not getting better price for their produce. Milk used to be supplied to various hospitals, airlines and many companies in the state. However, some private dairy operators have started monopolising the business since last 15 years. They have rights to fix the price of milk hence consumers have to bear the brunt of rising milk prices. The government had also transferred the dairy board employees to other departments after they had raised their voice against the administration. They had also vandalised 400 milk delivery vans and sold those in scrap. They have stopped the functioning of machinery worth crores of rupees.

Yashwant Bhosale, President of Rashtriya Sharmik Aghadi said the government must intervene to revive the dairy sector. He said, “On one hand, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is promoting Make in India campaign aggressively and on the other side farmers are committing suicide in the state. The government should take steps to bail out the dairy sector from financial crisis. They should regulate the functioning of private dairy establishments which are earning profits by taking customers for a ride.”

A session is being held under the leadership of Yashwant Bhosale on 25th February, 2016 at Dadar appealing the government to revive the dairy sector which is facing financial crisis. They have also invited Revenue Minister Eknath Khadse to this function. Several employees from the dairy department from Aarey, Worli, Goregaon, dealers and milk transporters are expected to remain present in the session.

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