Dairy farmers of Punjab have announced to open a front against the Bhagwant Mann government of the state, also announcing to launch an agitation from May 21 for non-redressal of their demands.
Daljit Singh Sadarpura, President, Progressive Dairy Farmers Association (PDFA) in a press conference at Chandigarh Press Club here said, the dairy farmers had high hopes and expectations from the present government.
He said the dairy farmers struggle had to be started since despite holding regular meetings with the government on several issues of dairy farmers, the issues have not been resolved, especially regarding increase of milk prices and demanding financial assistance of Rs 7 per kg, because of which they have been forced to seek financial assistance.
Mr Singh said that farmers had played a major role in promoting dairy in Punjab, and in making the state a dairy rich state of the country. He said in the last four years milk prices have not been increased at par with the expenses involved because of which the dairy industry is reeling under financial burden. He added that because of the drop in milk prices during the pandemic many farmers have become bank defaulters and now feed prices have also skyrocketed.
The PDFA president said that while the present government was talking about crop diversification and encouraging allied occupations, at that time the government should encourage allied dairy businesses which are of interest to the farmers.
He also said if we see Punjab, the enthusiasm of the farmers towards the dairy business in Punjab has also given impetus to the crop diversification in the state in recent times as the dairy farmers have encouraged the sowing of maize and other green fodder in Punjab.
Mr. Sadarpura also suggested that while suggestions were being sought from the general public for the budget to be brought by the Bhagwant Mann government, he also wanted to suggest that in other states like Haryana Rs 5 per kg, Rajasthan Rs 5 per kg, Bengal Rs.7 per kg, Uttarakhand Rs.4 per kg and Telangana Government Rs.4 per kg are paying as financial assistance to the cooperative dairies these states.
He added on the same lines the Punjab government should pay MILKFED so that the farmers cooperatives associated with Punjab MILKFED should be able to get out of the financial crisis and at the same time the farmers could get economic benefits. On this occasion Mr. Sadarpura demanded that MILKFED should increase the rate for dairy farmers by a minimum of Rs.7 for their survival.
On this occasion, PDFA Press Secretary, Resham Singh Bhullar said that PDFA will start the agitation demanding an increase in the price of milk from May 21 and after that the agitation will be taken to the villages of Punjab. He said the PDFA has been forced to start this struggle as the government had stalled the dialogue with PDFA.
Among those present on the occasion were Balvir Singh Nawanshahr, Rajpal Singh Kulaar, Ranjit Singh Langeana, Parminder Singh Ghudani, Sukhdev Singh Baroli, Baljinder Singh Satiala, Avtar Singh, Sukhpal Singh Barpal, Sukhjinder Singh Ghuman, Kuldeep Singh Seron, Sukhraj Singh, Manjit Singh Mohi, Balwinder Singh, Nirmal Singh Bathinda, Kuldeep Singh Mansa, Gurbakhsh Singh Bajke, Darshan Singh Saunda, Sikander Singh Patiala, Kuldeep Singh Patiala, Sukhdeep Singh Fazilka, Amarinder Singh Jalandhar, Jarnail Singh Barnala, Surjit Singh Kohli, Geetinder Singh Bathinda, Balwinder Singh, Satinder Singh Ropar, Balihar singh etc. were present.