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India's no to RCEP deal to protect the livelihood of 100 million dairy farmers, says Amul MD RS Sodhi

videos | Nov 5, 2019 3:07 PM IST

India's no to RCEP deal to protect the livelihood of 100 million dairy farmers, says Amul MD RS Sodhi

India has opted out of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) citing its negative impact on farmers, MSMEs, and the dairy sector. There also was lack of assurance on the market access. The base year was seen as 2014 in the case of tariffs. The market also has been concerned about agriculture as an overall industry.

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Thanking the government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, RS Sodhi, Managing Director of Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (Amul), said, “They have listened to us and agreed with our reasoning for not going into RCEP or not including dairy in the RCEP. It has saved the livelihood of 100 million poor farmers against giving market shares to 10,000 rich dairy farmers of New Zealand. This will encourage the Indian farmers to continue investing in dairy.”
Speaking about the overall dairy market, he said, “For the last two months, the price paid to the farmers is more or less stable. For cow milk, average price across India is around Rs 30-31 and for buffalo milk, for 7 percent fat, it is around Rs 46-47.”
“As far as consumer prices are concerned, after two-and-a-half months, 4-5 percent increase in milk prices happened and I think the price will be stable in India. Demand has picked up in all dairy products and in all product categories we are getting double-digit growth, which is good for Indian farmers,” he added.
According to Sodhi, the cost of production has increased substantially. "If I give the example of cattle feed, the prices are around 35-40 percent higher than the previous year. So, the cost of a litre of milk is around Rs 23-25 a litre for cow milk whereas the farmer is getting Rs 30. So, they are earning Rs 5-7 per litre,” he noted.
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