Thursday , 23 May 2019

Goa Dairy farmers call off hunger strike following ‘assurance’

PONDA: Goa Dairy’s farmers called off their hunger strike on Friday, following the assurance given by dairy chairman Rajesh Phaldessai to them of reducing the cattle feed prices.

The chairman gave assurance in writing to the farmers of reducing the cattle feed prices by Saturday morning, and convened a special meeting of the board to discuss the same.

The assurance was given by the chairman following  the intervention of Congress leaders in the matter, who called a joint meeting of the both parties, urging them to resolve the issue.

GPCC president Girish Chodankar, Ponda MLA Ravi Naik, Curtorim MLA Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco  and others visited the agitating farmers in the morning and called for joint meeting between the agitating farmers, and dairy’s chairman, and managing director, urging them to reach a ‘consensus’.

After arguing for a while the chairman Phaldessai and farmers arrived at ‘consensus’ on the issue.

The chairman agreed to fulfil one demand of the farmers first.  The farmers agreed to it and called off the strike, but hinted at another stir if the BoD fails to fulfil their demand ‘properly.’

The chairman didn’t assure that the price reduction would be by a particular amount.

The farmers have been demanding rollback in the cattle feed prices by Rs 2.50 per kg.

As per the assurance given the chairman to the farmers, a special BoD meeting will be held on Saturday to discuss the issue of reducing cattle feed prices by Rs 2.50 per kg. Nothing else has been mentioned in the letter given by him.

Anguished by the non-fulfillment of their demands, the farmers had began an indefinite hunger strike inside the dairy complex on Thursday.

The farmers have been persistently demanding rollback of the cattle feed price hike of Rs 2.5 per kg.

The other demands include improvement in quality of cattle feed and payment of pending incentives to the farmers.

The farmers have also been demanding that the Registrar of Co-operative Societies must reveal the details of the investigation conducted by  a charted accountant.

They have also been demanding that automatic machines be installed to check adulteration of milk.

The farmers, who held their ground on Thursday, had vowed to continue with the strike until their demands were fulfilled by the dairy.

While the chairman had asked for a month’s time to study the matter.

But on the second day of the stir, the Congress leaders visited the agitating farmers in the morning.

After discussing the issue with them, the leaders held meeting with managing director Dr N C Sawant and chairman Rajesh Phaldessai on the issue.

Later in the noon, they called for a joint meeting of the famers and dairy officials for resolving the issue.