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Dairy dilemma’ engulfs women farmers in CM Chandrababu Naidu’s constituency Kuppam

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The Kuppam Assembly constituency, represented by Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, relies heavily on dairy farming as a significant source of income for rural and semi-urban families.

Recently, the dairy industry has experienced a decrease of ₹5 per liter in the milk price, causing concern among the predominantly women farmers involved in the sector. The sudden price drop has sparked unrest among these women farmers, who have not received an official explanation for this unexpected development.

The entire dairy sector is operated by private companies without direct government supervision, contributing to the uncertainty surrounding the price decrease.

Over the years, many women farmers have entered the thriving cottage industry of dairy farming in the region, obtaining loans from banks and private individuals to support their endeavours. Approximately 7 lakh litres of milk are produced in the Kuppam, Gudupalle, Shantipuram, and Ramakuppam mandals of the constituency, per day.

During a recent visit to Kuppam, the Chief Minister expressed his commitment to bolstering the dairy sector by increasing milk output to 10 lakh litres per day. Additionally, he promised to provide “three milch cows” to each family in Kuppam under a benefit scheme — an increase from the previous two cows per family initiative before the State’s bifurcation.

The sudden decrease in milk prices has unsettled the women farmers, despite their optimism for the return of the Chandrababu Naidu Government and its promised support.

Saraswathi (45), a dairy farmer in Gudupalle mandal, had plans to expand her herd after Mr. Naidu’s subsidy promise. However, the decline in milk prices has left many farmers feeling discouraged. The milk companies attribute the situation to the increasing milk production in the Kuppam constituency, contradicting Mr. Naidu’s promise to raise milk yield to 10 lakh litres per day.

It is important to note that the price of one liter of milk was ₹40 last year but has gradually decreased to ₹30 in June, causing distress among the women farmers. Many farmers have reported that milk companies are refusing to purchase additional stock, exacerbating the situation. To address this stalemate, some farmers attempted to sell their surplus stocks in Bengaluru and its surrounding areas with the help of their male colleagues. However, these efforts did not yield positive results due to transportation costs and competition from rural Bengaluru farmers.


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A dairy unit manager in Shantipuram mandal noted that milk production significantly increased during the election period. However, there was a simultaneous drop in milk powder exports, resulting in a surplus of milk powder stocks and a subsequent decrease in collection from farmers. Overall, the women farmers remain hopeful that remunerative milk prices will return if milk powder exports resume.

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