Speakers at a conference fear suicide by farmers

Different stakeholders in the dairy sector on Wednesday urged the Union and State governments to bail out the dairy sector from the unprecedented crisis.

Representatives of farmers, dairy cooperatives, and private dairies took part in the conference at a meeting held at Acharya N.G. Ranga Bhavan and feared suicide by dairy farmers if corrective steps were not taken to create demand for milk and its by-products and provide protection from cheaper imported dairy products.

Taking a cue from Thailand, the government should start school milk programme to boost milk consumption by women, children and other sections of people who were suffering from malnutrition, former state minister Vadde Sobhandreswara Rao said.

While dairy farmers in the State produce 360 grams of milk and milk products per person, consumption was only 160 grams per person as against 280 grams per person required for maintaining good health, he explained.

Former MP Y. Sivaji observed that liquor sale surpassed milk sale of Rs. 22,000 crore by about Rs. 8000 crore in the State.

The government should take proactive steps to boost sale of milk which accounted for only 3.5 per cent of the State gross domestic product now as against five per cent by liquor, he said.

Telugu Rythu State president Karnam Balarama Krishnamurthy said neglect of the dairy sector which generated a maximum number of jobs in rural areas would be suicidal.

Call for struggle

CPI-led All India Kisan Sabha State general secretary Ravula Venkaiah found fault with the Centre for allowing import of butter from New Zealand and other countries when the domestic farmers were struggling to sell milk at a remunerative price.

Cutting across party lines, farmer organisations should launch a protracted struggle to protect the sector and oppose the ‘anti-farmer’ Exim policy.

CPI(M)-led Andhra Pradesh Rythu Sangham district secretary N. Ranga Rao pressed for strengthening the cooperative dairy sector.

Krishna District Milk Producers’ Mutually Aided Cooperative Union chairman Mandava Janakiramaiah stressed the need for strengthening the cooperative movement for dairy farmers to realise a better price for milk.

  • Launch of school milk programme sought

  • Rythu Sangham seeks steps to strengthen cooperative dairy sector