AAP (Photo Credit: AAP)
Senior Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and Rajya Sabha MP Raghav Chadha on Thursday launched a ferocious attack on the BJP-led NDA government for failing to combat rising prices of milk, which he said has a direct correlation with shortage of fodder. In a series of tweets he predicted that milk prices are likely to shoot up further because of the centre’s inability to address the problem despite knowing about it two years ago. In a series of tweets, MP Raghav Chadha said, “Milk prices are all set to rise again?! Reasons? 1. Unabated rise in fodder prices 2. Lumpy virus continues to spread. For some years, farmers have preferred sowing other crops to fodder. Fodder prices have now shot up to a 9-year high to a staggering 25.54% in Aug. In Gujarat alone, which is the largest producer of milk, area under fodder crops reduced by 1.36 lakh hectare in the last two years.” He pointed out that the government saw the fodder crisis and its impact on agricultural households two years ago.
So, a proposal to set up 100 Farmer Producer Organisations (FPO) specifically for fodder, was drafted by the Union Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying (MoFAHD) in September 2020. Ironically, not a single FPO has been registered yet - despite the crisis unfolding for a while. In short, the government knew of the potential crisis in the making years ago, but did nothing, the MP said, adding that in just a year, both the prices and demand for fodder increased three-fold. For e.g. in Rajasthan & MP alone, fodder (straw) prices went up from Rs. 400-600 per quintal to Rs. 1100-1700 per quintal. “Despite Lumpy virus spreading unchecked and fodder prices & shortage rising unabated for a while, the Government has done nothing substantial to address these issues. Result: more troubles for farmers, more troubles for average Indian households,” the MP said in a tweet.