A dairy farmer selling milk at a procurement centre in Kothagudem on Tuesday
Kothagudem: Incentives of Rs 4 per litre to dairy farmers announced by Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao for the milk procured from them are yet to reach them even after three months of the announcement. There are over 2,500 dairy farmers in Bhadradri-Kothagudem district from whom the State-owned Vijaya Dairy procures milk every day.
At Kothagudem and Illendu, there are Vijaya Dairy branches. In other places, several milk procurement centres collect milk from the farmers. There are 20 milk procurement centres being run by a private dairy in Kothagudem. These centres are active in Bhadrachalam, Paloncha, Sarapaka, Aswapuram, Illendu, Manuguru and so on.
There are eight milk chilling centres in Khammam district, including Khammam city.
These centres procure milk from neighbouring villages and chill them before sending to the Vijaya Dairy in Khammam.
The dairy farmers’ hopes kindled with the Chief Minister’s announcement of incentive at the rate of Rs 4 per litre. The Chief Minister made the statement while speaking to the milk producers at Pragati Bhavan on September 17 last year. But the farmers are in despair as the announced incentives have not reached them even after three months.
The Vijaya Dairy pays Rs 28.17 for one litre of buffalo milk with 5 per cent fat content. It pays to farmers at the rate of Rs 29.43 per litre of cow milk bearing 3 per cent fat content.
Because of the delay in disbursement of incentives, farmers’ dues piled up to Rs 29.80 lakh in Khammam district. The amount swelled to Rs 14.40 lakh in Bhadradri-Kothagudem district.
A farmer belonging to Bhadradri-Kothagudem district Venkateswar Reddy said the farmers nursed hopes following the statement made by the Chief Minister. He said he was pained over the delay in disbursement of the incentives. The State government which should support dairy farmers like him was working quite contrary to people’s expectations, he alleged.
Bulk milk cooling centre in-charge for Bhadradri-Kothagudem district M Muralikrishna said he had already submitted a report to the government on the quantum of the incentives to be disbursed to dairy farmers.
Compared to other districts, milk procurement through the Vijaya Dairy in Kothagudem district is very high. Further, he said that cattle feed was being supplied to farmers on subsidy.