Amaravati, Nov 6: Milk procurement under an agreement between the Andhra Pradesh government and Amul will take off from November 20 in three districts — Prakasam, Chittoor and Kadapa.
Animal Husbandry and Dairy Development Minister Seediri Appalaraju said Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy will distribute cheques to the dairy farmers on November 25.
“The state government signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Amul to encourage milk cooperative societies, especially those run by women, and further develop the dairy sector in the state,” said Appalaraju.
According to the minister, the agreement aims to boost confidence among dairy farmers and empower them economically and socially.
As many as 5.6 lakh women, who were provided financial assistance through the YSR Cheyutha scheme, have come forward to set up mini diaries in the villages.
These mini dairies are expected to collect up to 22 lakh additional litres of milk. The state government supplied cattle to these women.
To handle and process the huge amount of milk, Andhra Pradesh will spend Rs 1,362 crore to build facilities like Bulk Milk Cooling Units (BMCU) and Milk Collection Centres in Rythu Bharosa Kendras.
Scheduled to be implemented in a phased manner, 7,121 milk collection centres and 2,774 BMCUs will be set up.
In total, 3,639 BMCUs will be started in the second phase and 3,486 BMCUs in the third phases, along with milk collection centres.
The state government also aims to develop RBKs into milk potential RBKs.
Amul will collect milk from as many as 550 villages in the three districts, with 56,000 litres of milk to be collected from Prakasam alone.
“The CM is committed to the development of the dairy sector. During his 3,468 km ‘praja sankalpa yatra’, the CM directly witnessed the poor plight of dairy farmers and promised to give them a new life,” said Appalaraju.
He criticised the previous government for allegedly neglecting dairy development and cooperative societies for the benefit of private dairies.
Appalaraju said the southern state stands fourth in the country for milk production, generating about 4 crore litres of milk a day, mostly from the unorganised sector.
He said only 26 per cent milk production is happening through cooperative societies and private dairies.
“The government is planning to bring majority of the unorganised dairy units into an organised sector by encouraging cooperative societies and women farmers. The tie-up with Amul is for an all-around growth of the dairy sector by giving a helping hand to the dairy farmers, ensuring quality feed, veterinary services and marketing facilities,” he added.