Domestic milk markets in India are in crises. A price war is raging between dairy processors, to sell milk at extremely low prices in urban cities. This has been accompanied by a steep reduction in milk procurement prices paid, as also the volume of milk procured from producers by dairy processors. Small and marginal farmers, whose livelihoods depend on selling milk and who are the backbone of this market, have been hardest hit. This has also severely affected the people’s milk market, commonly referred to as the “informal” or “unorganised” milk markets. The FSA was alerted to the crises by its member small farmers from Chittoor district in Andhra Pradesh and Medak district in Telangana. In trying to understand the issue in greater detail, the FSA discovered that this is not merely a crises for small farmers of Chittoor and Medak: it is a grave crises that is impacting small farmers nationally and globally. They stand poised to be thrown out of their livelihoods en-masse. Given the urgency of the issue, it became apparent to the FSA that we need to get a better understanding of the ground reality, through dialogue with as many small milk producer farmers as possible. Through this dialogue will emerge a collective strategy to resist the systematic planned decimation of small producers and people’s milk markets. The dialogue is scheduled for October 21, 2015 at the Dhyana Ashram, Mylapore, Chennai.
Read this preparatory note that sets context for the dialogue