Karnataka

State delegation to protest against import of milk, dairy products

Members of Kasturi Karnataka Janapara Vedike burning the effigy of Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal to oppose the Centre’s proposal to import milk and dairy products, on the Bengaluru-Mysuru highway in Maddur on Tuesday .

Members of Kasturi Karnataka Janapara Vedike burning the effigy of Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal to oppose the Centre’s proposal to import milk and dairy products, on the Bengaluru-Mysuru highway in Maddur on Tuesday .   | Photo Credit: B_Mahadeva(NoBylinePls,Freel

They will meet Piyush Goyal in New Delhi next week

Following protests by farmers in various districts, chairman of Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF) Balachandra Jarkiholi has said that he will take a delegation to the Centre to protest the proposed move to import milk and dairy products under the free trade agreement.

He said that the delegation comprising of Animal Husbandry Minister Prabhu Chavan, Union Ministers from the State, and others will meet Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal next week and persuade him to protect the interest of farmers by not allowing import from countries such as New Zealand and Australia.

“Cooperative societies Amul and KMF are very strong in India. We have already written to the Centre appraising them of the ill-effects of allowing import. In States like Gujarat and Karnataka, lakhs of women members of societies send postal cards against the move,” Mr. Jarkiholi said. “Importing milk and dairy products will have a far-reaching impact on rural economy. The Union government plans to double farm revenue by 2022. Import will have a negative impact on farmers,” he added.

In Karnataka, more than 24.82 lakh milk producers are members of the KMF. Annually, the federation procures more than 84 lakh kg of milk per day. In the previous financial year, the federation had a turnover of ₹14,466 crore.

A senior KMF member said: “The country has more than 10 crore milk producers and we are producing sufficient milk. If the Centre allows import of milk and dairy products, it will have devastating impact on the livelihood of farmers. Countries such as New Zealand export 93% milk products to other countries. Unlike other countries, India’s dairy industry is labour-oriented. The system will collapse if the Centre allows import.”

Protests

Hundreds of milk producers in Chamarajaranagar took out a march against the proposal to permit duty-free import of milk and dairy products.

The milk producers gathered at Chamarajeshwara temple in the town on Tuesday and marched to the office of Deputy Commissioner B.B. Cauvery, where they submitted a memorandum addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Dairy farming is one of the chief occupations in Chamarajanagar district with more than 41,000 families engaged in producing three lakh litres of milk every day.

In Mandya district, members of Kasturi Karnataka Janapara Vedike staged a protest on the Bengaluru-Mysuru highway in Maddur. They blocked vehicular movement for a while, raised slogans against the Centre, and burnt the effigy of Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal. They termed the Centre’s proposal a “death knell” for dairy farmers in the country.

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Printable version | May 27, 2020 4:23:48 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/state-delegation-to-protest-against-import-of-milk-dairy-products/article29693526.ece

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