Paralakhemundi: The neighbouring Andhra Pradesh has been trying to claim its rights over water, land, and forests on the fringe areas of Koraput and Gajapati districts. Now, it has set its sight on dairy farmers in Gajapati. Andhra dairy companies are buying milk from farmers in several areas by offering them more price, a report said.
According to the reports, a vehicle (registration no-AP39TV5439 with a COVID-19 pass, has been transporting milk from various parts of Kashinagar block for last several days. Hundreds of litres of milk are sent to the neighbouring state every day.
It was learnt that OMFED has formed a milk farmers’ cooperative society and was buying milk from farmers in Khandabam Budura, Haripur, Goribandha, Bathaba, Kashinagar, Tata Kashinagar, BN Pur, Kidigam, Kaithapadar, Ranipetha, Minigram and Hatapada. It was also selling cattle feed to farmers.
About 800 to 1000 litres of milk were being sold to the OMFED on a daily basis.
However, a dairy firm of Andhra Pradesh lured the dairy farmers by offering them prices higher than that of OMFED. It supplied cattle feed at lower prices also.
OMFED was selling cattle feed to farmers for Rs 1200 while Andhra firm sold it to farmers for Rs 1000. The Andhra company also promised loans and bonus to the farmers. As a result, many farmers stopped selling their milk to OMFED.
On the other hand, OMFED has been losing its customers. It is only buying 420 to 500 litres per day now.
“Andhra has been conspiring to close the business of OMFED in the region,” alleged M Prabin Kumar, president of the cooperative society. Local residents like Madusudan and G Gobinda Rao also observed similarly.
On the other hand, Collector Anupam Shah has directed an OMFED official to look into the matter and submit a report. The Collector said that if any farmer, affiliated to the cooperative society, sells milk to Andhra company, stern action will be taken against him.