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HomeNews ReportsPunjab: Thousands of dairy farmers stage protest against the AAP government in the state

Punjab: Thousands of dairy farmers stage protest against the AAP government in the state

Thousands of dairy farmers from across Punjab gathered at the Verka Milk Plant in Mohali on 21st May 2022 to stage a massive protest.

Days after the farmers belonging to various farmer unions started a protest against the Bhagwant Mann-led Aam Aadmi Party government in Punjab, dairy farmers in the state have also launched a protest against the state government over various demands. Thousands of dairy farmers from across Punjab gathered at the Verka Milk Plant in Mohali on 21st May 2022 to stage a massive protest against the Punjab government.

The protesting farmers chanted slogans in support of their demands as well as against the Bhagwant Mann government. They also spilled milk on the road to register their anger against the government.

Progressive Dairy Farmers Association (PDFA) is leading these protests. Daljit Singh Sadarpura, president of PDFA, addressed the protesting dairy farmers. He said, “After agriculture, dairy farming is the second-largest source of livelihood for farmers in Punjab. The state today ranks first in commercial dairy farming in the country. Punjab has the highest number of dairy farmers in the country. Today every dairy farmer is going through an economic crisis, whether he is a big or small producer of milk. In the last two years, we have not raised any issue about the rise in milk prices due to the epidemic as we know that everyone, including dairy farmers, is going through a crisis.”

Daljit Singh Sadarpura said that milk rates have not increased for more than two years, but the expenditure on milk production has increased a lot. About 75 percent of the total expenditure is on fodder. According to Daljit Singh Sadarpura, the rates of fodder have doubled in the last two years. Such a huge increase was never seen in the last 25 years in the dairy business.

Daljit Singh Sadarpura added, “The major component of animal fodder is soybean which was at Rs. 3200 per quintal a year ago, but now costs 10,000 Rs. We have suffered a lot due to it. In addition, fans have to be installed to protect all the cows and buffaloes from the heat. In view of the erratic supply of electricity, the cost of running generators has also increased significantly due to rising diesel prices. Rising diesel prices have also increased the cost of operating other machinery, including tractors.”

It is notable that there are about 6,000 dairy farms currently operating in Punjab. 3.5 lakh farmers are associated with the dairy farms in the state. Punjab is contributing more than 6 percent of the total milk production in India. The state has registered a significant increase in milk production per animal as compared to 2012. The production, which was 3.51 kg per animal in 2012, has now increased to more than 5.27 kg.

However, with the increase in milk production, the profits of milkmen have decreased. The reason behind this is the ever-increasing price rise of animal fodder, the animal fodder which was at Rs 20 has now reached Rs 40 per kg. In such a situation, it is very important to increase the price of milk. Dairy farmers in Punjab are demanding financial assistance of Rs 7 per kg on milk. After the lax attitude of the government, the dairy producers have decided to agitate.

Earlier this week, on Thursday, various farmer unions from the state of Punjab camped at the Chandigarh-Mohali border to stage a protest against the state government. They carried rations, beds, fans, utensils, and cooking gas cylinders and were stationed at the border to press the AAP government to fulfill their demands.

According to the reports, the farmers belonging to various farmer unions are demanding an increased bonus on wheat and a change in the paddy sowing schedule from June 10. Farmer leader Jagjit Singh Dallewal warned on May 18 that if all the grievances of the farmers are not adressed, they will break the barricades and move towards Chandigarh.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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