Tribal farmers who are rearing dairy cattle in Agency area have decided to restore the Bulk Milk Chilling Unit (BMCU) at Rampachodavaram, thanks to support promised by the Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDA) Project Officer.

The BMCU, which was set up in 2006, successfully ran for two years and farmers from 30 villages in and around the unit used to supply 1,000 litres of milk everyday to the centre. However, the unit was closed down for certain reasons and farmers started selling milk to the middlemen from outside the Agency area.

ITDA P.O. Gandham Chandrudu, in a recent meeting with the farmers, convinced them to supply 1,100 litres of milk per day to restart the BMCU Collection Center at Rampachodavaram. The tribal farmers will first cater to the needs of their areas, including that of tribal welfare hostels, ashram schools and others, and then supply the remaining stocks to the Godavari Dairy in Rajahmundry.

Target set
“To begin with, the centre will receive 1,100 litres per day and it will reach a breakeven point of 1,500 litres per day in three to four months,” said Mr. Chandrudu.

After visiting the BMCU collection centre at Kadiyam of the Godavari Dairy, the ITDA P.O. held discussions with the officials concerned, informing that the tribal farmers from Maredumilli, Devipatnam and Rampachodavaram would supply milk to the Godavari dairy from the first week of August.

Mr. Chandrudu said that most of the tribal inhabitants in Agency area did not consume milk or milk products, especially pregnant women with anaemia were hesitant to drink milk during pregnancy.

“Once the BMCU collection centre begins operation, the ITDA would supply milk to all pregnant women and tribal students of all hostels and schools. We want to inculcate the habit of consuming milk and milk products in children,” he said, adding that health workers would provide milk to pregnant women in all hamlets, villages and PHCs.