Farmers threaten to cut milk supply to city over RCEP

Representative image

Dairy farmers on Thursday threatened to halt the supply of milk and milk products in Bengaluru and surrounding districts if the government fails to consider their view on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement. 

The RCEP, comprising 10-member ASEAN bloc and six other countries — India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand — is engaged in talks for a free trade pact. The Bengaluru Urban, Bengaluru Rural and Ramanagara Districts Cooperative Milk Producers Societies Union Ltd (BAMUL) reiterated that milk and milk products should not be included in RCEP.

"We will hold a protest against the Union government on Saturday. If it goes against the interests of farmers, an intense struggle is inevitable," BAMUL chairman Narasimhamurthy said.

He said 80 lakh litres of milk is produced every day in Karnataka. "We have invited leaders of all parties to take part in the protest at Freedom Park on Saturday, following which representations will be made to the governor and chief minister," he said.

He said the previous government killed sericulture by signing a pact to import silk from China. "Milk dairies will meet a similar fate if India signs RCEP," he said.

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