MUMBAI: Several milk farmers blocked the supply of milk to Mumbai and Pune as the agitation demanding price hike began on Monday morning.
Workers of Swabhimani Shetkari Sangathna, a farmers' organisation, stopped vehicles near Pune in the morning and prevented milk from being supplied to nearby cities.
The farmers are demanding a hike of Rs 5 per litre in its procurement price.
"Farmers sell milk to dairies at Rs 17 per litre. After processing it, the dairies package it in pouches and sell it at a minimum rate of Rs 42 per litre. The difference in earnings has not been passed on to the farmer," said Lok Sabha MP Raju Shetti.
With agency inputs
#Maharashtra: Workers of Swabhimani Shetkari Sangathna, a farmers' organisation, stopped vehicles near Pune early morning today, and prevented milk from being supplied to nearby cities. The organisation is demanding price hike for milk farmers. pic.twitter.com/z2a1D6YwMX
— ANI (@ANI) July 16, 2018
Ajit Nawale of the Akhil Bharatiya Kisan Sabha said that the agitation would intensify further if the state government failed to procure milk at higher prices or did not give special subsidy to milk farmers.
Akhil Bharatiya Kisan Sabha leader Ajit Nawale threatened to intensify agitation if state government failed to procure milk at higher prices or did not give special subsidy to milk.
Earlier, the Maharashtra Police served notice Navle to not organise or participate in any protest supporting demands by Swabhimani Shetkari Sangathna or enter the district in order to avoid law and order problems.
“Government says that milk would be brought from other states, especially Gujarat and Karnataka. We'll start a 'Satyagraha' and ensure that no milk is brought to from outside. It's the tactic of the government to disrupt protest by doing this,” said Swabhimani Shetkari Sangathna leader and lawmaker R Shetti.
Reacting to the Nagpur incident, Shetti added, "Onus of Nagpur incident falls on state government and police. Protests were to begin at 12 am today but police started detaining workers from yesterday morning, went to their houses and verbally abused women. They reacted. We want to protest peacefully."
As many as 55 lakh milk pouches are sold in Mumbai every day with Gujarat-based Amul having the highest market share of 30 per cent followed by Kolhapur-based Gokul, said Dairy department officials.