Assam CM orders talks with agitating dairy farmers

GUWAHATI: Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal has directed state cooperation minister, Rihon Daimary to hold talks with the agitating dairy farmers associated with a milk cooperative society of central Assam.

The dairy farmers, belonging to eight districts, and associated with the Morigaon-based Sitajakhala Dugdha Utpadak Samabai Samiti Ltd have been protesting against the policies of the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), alleging they have been deprived of their dues.

Over 1000 litres of milk were dumped by the dairy farmers in a river on Friday in protest against the alleged irregularities. However, the incident drew flak from several quarters following which protesters started distributing milk free from Sunday.

“We are optimistic about a solution as we have learnt that the chief minister has directed a meeting with our dairy farmers who are aggrieved that they have been paid less than their cost of production,” Bishnu Upadhyay, honorary vice-chairman of Sitajakhala Dugdha Utpadak Samabai Samiti Ltd, told The Shillong Times on Monday.

The dairy farmers’ cooperative society supplies between 1000 and 1500 litres to the NDDB-managed Purabi Dairy in Guwahati every day.

Reportedly, the agitating dairy farmers have demanded the appointment of a local person as chairman of Purabi Dairy besides assurance from the state government that the dairy firm would only accept milk from local dairy farmers.

The chief minister has also asked the Morigaon district administration to take requisite measures to control the situation subsequent to the agitation of the dairy farmers.

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