Milk producers in the state will launch an indefinite strike from February 7 demanding a raise in procurement price, said Dr. M.R. Sivasamy, State president, Tamizhaga Vivasayigal Sangam, here on Friday.

He told reporters that 10 farmers' associations, including those of various milk producers, will participate in the strike. The farmers will not supply milk to societies instead will supply to poor people and the general public.

The fodder prices were increasing by the day. The recent raise of Rs. 1.10 a litre for cow milk and Rs. 2.20 a litre for buffalo milk was too meagre and hence was unacceptable.

The raise should be Rs. 5 a litre for cow milk and Rs. 8 a litre for buffalo milk matching the procurement price in the neighbouring states.

The producers were severely affected because of the low retail price of milk in the state. Considering this, the state government should sanction a special subsidy of Rs. 5 a litre of milk. The subsidy should be directly credited to the bank accounts of farmers.

The 54 per cent raise in wage announced by the state government recently for the employees of Primary Milk Cooperative Societies was nothing but a clear case of betrayal, Mr. Sivasamy said.

He said, the raise was meagre and hence, the association wanted the government to withdraw the announcement and do justice to the employees who were struggling to procure milk from farmers at odd times.

“The Federation of Milk Producers Associations and Farmers Federations want the state government to regularise the services of the employees attached to the cooperative milk producers' societies with a time scale of pay and retirement benefits,'' said Mr. K. Mohamed Ali, State president, Tamil Nadu Milk Producers Association.

Later, Dr. Sivasamy addressed a meeting to chalk out the indefinite strike. K.M. Ramagoundar, vice-president, Tamizhaga Vivasayigal Sangam, presided over the meeting. K.A. Senkottuvel, State president, Tamil Nadu Milk Producers Welfare Association, among others spoke at the meeting. Over 500 farmers participated in the meeting.

X. Irudayaraj, district secretary, Tamilnadu Milk Producers' Association welcomed the gathering. R. Shankar, state representative proposed a vote of thanks.

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