Karnataka farmers, planters oppose proposed Free Trade Agreement
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Karnataka farmers, planters oppose proposed Free Trade Agreement

Karnataka is ranked second after Gujarat in milk production. According to the state government, milk production in the State has presently reached 86 lakh litres a day.Planters and farmers from Karnataka are opposing the Union government’s proposal to sign a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) for dairy products and plantation commodities under the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is a proposed free trade agreement (FTA) between the ten member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) that includes Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and its six FTA partners which consist of China, Japan, India, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.
The farmers from Mandya, Mysuru, Shivamogga, Hassan and other districts staged a massive protest against the proposal as they are apprehensive that the duty-free import of milk products will affect their livelihood.
On Wednesday, ‘Mandya Zila Haalu Utpadakara Horata Samiti’, a milk producers’ association protested in Mandya. Sunanda Jayaram, Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS) leader, said, “The RCEP agreement will allow duty-free import of milk, this will hit the dairy and agriculture sector in the country. The RCEP will also impact the employment of five crore people working in the dairy industry and affects the livelihood of 10 crore milk producers across the country.”
Karnataka is ranked second after Gujarat in milk production. According to the state government, milk production in the state has presently reached 86 lakh litres a day. Opposing the Centre’s proposal of importing dairy products from countries like New Zealand and Australia, former Karnataka Chief Minister, Siddaramaiah said, “Narendra Modi government’s proposal to sign free trade agreement of dairy products under RCEP is against the interests of our farmers and this shall be vehemently opposed. Dairy products of Australia and New Zealand are much cheaper, which will make it difficult for our farmers to compete in the market. This will impact their livelihoods, which was strengthened only after the White revolution.”
Referring to the initiatives taken in Karnataka to protect milk farmers, Siddaramaiah in his series of tweets, said:
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