Umbrella group urges State government to act fast
Farmers and civil society organisations under the aegis of the Prakasam District Development Forum have launched a campaign for the revival of the Ongole dairy.
The employees and farmers were hoping against hope that the problems of the dairy would be resolved once and for all with the ganite baron Sidda Venkateswara Rao taking over the crisis-ridden dairy. However, due to procedural and other issues, the dairy could not be put on even keel, said PDDF president Ch. Ranga Rao leading a brainstorming session to suggest steps by the State government to revive the fortunes of the dairy by roping in the National Dairy Development Board.
“We will take up a sustained campaign to save the cooperative sector dairy,” he asserted.
It was, in fact, only after the NDDB intervened in 2005, the idling milk powder unit was made operational, recalled Andhra Pradesh Rythu Sangam district secretary Hanuma Reddy and suspected a conspiracy to kill the dairy which had been rendering yeoman service to the ryots, particularly women who were now clueless. “Though private dairies initially offered a better price for the milk supplied by farmers, they gradually cut it down when there is no competition,” Virginia Tobacco Farmers Welfare Association secretary Ch. Seshaiah said.
He saw a plot by a private dairy to usurp the richly-valued assets of the dairy purchased with the toil of farmers. PDFF treasurer A. Kondal Rayudu said it was unfortunate that the State government remained a “mute spectator” even as the crisis in the dairy deepened in the last 14 months. Dues to dairy farmers should be immediately settled, he demanded.