Anantapur: AP Dairy in particular Rayalaseema region is facing serious crisis after Telangana State stopped procurement of milk from AP saying that had enough production from TS districts.
About three tankers of milk supply were stopped to Hyderabad from Anantapur dairy every day for the past few weeks. The AP Dairy stopped payments to the farmers for the past two months due to pending of issues with TS. But, the Telangana government was reportedly purchasing 6 lakh litres milk from Karnataka to meet its demand in addition to increased production of milk since two years.
At least Rs 11 crore dues are to be paid for dairy farmers in the state, sources said. With sudden crash in prices, the AP Dairy had reduced the prices to Rs 6.50 a litre since June 16.
Farmers' union leader Dhanapuram Venkatrami Reddy, who is an analyst from Hindupur, observed the government has failed to sense the situation during two- and- a- half years of ruling after the state division.
AP government restricted the purchase from farmers. It also cut the prices of milk. Cow's milk was about Rs 26-27 a litre one month ago, but, the price had a steep fall to as low as Rs 17- 19 a litre due to TS decision and the joint venture of both state unable to take shape.
The price is not supporting the dairy farm sector and further the private dairies were also looking to make the most of the sticky situation. Despite severe drought conditions, Anantapur district stands top in milk production with 50,000 litres every day followed by Kadapa with 35,000 litres.
Mr Reddy said mostly small farmers and labourers eke out a living through dairy rather than big farmers in the state and they will be in trap of private lenders.
“The dairy farmers were not getting hand loans and even essential commodities in the villages due to pending bills,” he said.
During 50 years, animal husbandry sector has achieved phenomenal growth in Rayalaseema region. With its livestock resources and gradual enlighten of the farmers along with dedicated and sustained efforts of the department over the years have elevated the state to a prominent position in the country in the livestock sector.
The milk production also made quantum leap from 18.08 lakh tonnes in 1979-80 to 76.24 lakh tonnes during 2005-06. Growing at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of over four per cent, milk production in India is expected to rise to about 177 million tonnes by 2019-2020.
In Karnataka, the state government provides incentive to the farmers on every litre to encourage dairy development while the situation is entirely different in AP, Hindupur Congress leader K.T. Sreedhar alleged and said the government should take responsibility and save farmers.
“The Congress would take up agitations in all parts of the state if the government failed to take measures. The government should clear Rs 11 crore due to the farmers otherwise the dairy sector would turn to suicides similar to agriculture and handloom weaving sectors,” Ananda Ranga Reddy, a farmer leader from Madakasira observed....