Amul should run state dairies for milk producers’ benefit, says agriculture minister
Maharashtra government may ask Gujarat-based dairy cooperative Amul to run the state-owned Mahananda and Aarey dairies in order to ensure better rates for milk producers. Sadabhau Khot, Maharashtra minister of state for agriculture, said that his ministry will soon forward a proposal to the government.
While speaking in Pune on Monday, Khot said that he has prepared a report which will be submitted to chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and Mahadeo Jankar, animal husbandry minister. “Despite huge consumption, milk producers in the state are getting Rs 18 to Rs 20 per litre, while it is sold at Rs 42 per litre. In neighbouring Gujarat, Amul dairy gives Rs 24 to Rs 25 per litre to milk producers. Therefore, we are planning to ask Amul to manage state-owned dairies,” said Khot.
The minister blamed Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress leaders, who control the cooperative milk dairies, for deflating milk rates by not paying proper remuneration to the farmers and selling it at a higher price in the market.
“I have collected detailed information on how the price of milk is being reduced by leaders of the previous government. Soon, I will submit the report regarding the issue to the chief minister and the minister of dairy development and request them to allow Amul to collect milk in the state-run dairies on rental basis to stop the monopoly of private, cooperative unions.”
During a meeting with the agricultural commissioner to take review of the Kharif season at the sugar commissionerate, Khot ordered that each officer, including clerks, should visit farmers’ land during the sowing season and collect information of what seeds, fertilisers, and pesticides are used by them. Khot also ordered officers to take ‘selfies’ with the farmers on their farms and WhatsApp the image to him.