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Dairy farmers become roadblock for India's trade deals with US, EU

Opposition from politically-influential dairy farmers makes government hesitant to allow free access of dairy products from other countries

A worker cleans up cow dung in a cattle shed at a dairy farm in rural Maharashtra in 2017. (Photo: Bloomberg)
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A worker cleans up cow dung in a cattle shed at a dairy farm in rural Maharashtra in 2017. (Photo: Bloomberg)

Shruti Srivastava | Bloomberg
India’s effort to wrap up bilateral trade deals with major economies after pulling out of a China-backed regional pact has hit a major stumbling block -- its dairy industry.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration is hesitant to allow free access of dairy products from several countries, including the US, the EU and the UK, due to strong opposition from politically-influential dairy farmers, according to people familiar with the situation.

There are disagreements over a range of goods, but India feels more strongly about milk products on worries that their imports could destroy the livelihood of millions of farmers as most

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First Published: Oct 27 2020 | 2:20 PM IST

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