Minister considers dairy farmers’ protests – a show
Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management Jelena Tanaskovic has said that the farmers’ protests are founded when there is no dialogue, but that since she talked with 20 associations in three months that last week’s milk producers’ protest was „a different kind of a show“.
“For me, protests were founded when there was no dialogue, but in three months I met with more than 20 associations representing on average six to 10 agricultural producers, there were also initiators of the protests at the talks, so I really think it was a different kind of a show, not the one that should lead to a concrete solution,” Tanaskovic said on Prva TV.
She added that she asked the producers for proposals and that calculations were made for each of them regarding possible subsidies this year. She said farmers had demanded the ban on milk import to be lifted, that it was lifted on February 1 and that the protest took place on February 3.
Tanaskovic said that farmers were requesting milk import control, which is being done, and that one of the requests was to increase the milk premium from 10 dinars to 20 dinars, which would cost the state eight billion dinars from the budget.
She pointed out that increasing that premium would be a risk because it remained unknown whether that money would end up with the producers, and that she thought that direct subsidies per animal was a better measure. „Who can guarantee that dairies would not reduce the purchase price of milk by the amount of premium,“ Tanaskovic asked.
She added that she had talked to the representatives of dairies and asked them not to reduce the purchase price now that the price of milk was dropping and to „bear the burden for three months, while what will happen next remains to be seen“ and that she was waiting for response.
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