-KH News Desk (email@example.com)
Amidst opposition and criticism in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, Amul has finally established itself in Southern India. On Tuesday, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy conducted the Bhumi puja at Chittoor Dairy to commence the restoration works of the shutdown dairy plant, solidifying Amul’s position in the region. As part of the initial phase, Amul plans to invest Rs 150 crore in the plant and aims to process 1 lakh liters of milk per day within the next 10 months.
This move is expected to have political ramifications in the coming days. Previously, Amul faced opposition from states like Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. In April of this year, the company received significant backlash in poll-bound Karnataka, where the local brand KMF sells milk and curd under the name Nandini. Amul’s announcement of entering the state led to hashtags such as #Savenandini and #GobackAmul trending on Twitter. Congress and BJP engaged in a dispute over Amul’s entry into the Bengaluru market, with Congress accusing the ruling BJP of conspiring to harm the state’s established dairy brand, Nandini.
In May, Amul faced another controversy in Tamil Nadu when some media organizations reported that Chief Minister MK Stalin wrote to Union Home Minister Amit Shah, seeking intervention to stop Amul from procuring milk from the milk shed of the state cooperative Aavin. Stalin labeled Amul’s actions as an infringement on Aavin’s dairy-producing area.
However, Tuesday marked Amul’s successful establishment in the southern market with the entry into Andhra Pradesh. During a public meeting in the district, the Chief Minister announced that the restoration of the dairy plant was a promise made during his padayatra (foot march). He further stated that the pending dues of Rs 182 crore for the dairy plant had been cleared. The state government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Amul group, which agreed to invest Rs 385 crore for the revival and restoration of the dairy plant. Additionally, the CM revealed plans for constructing the largest ice cream manufacturing facility in the country as part of the Chittoor dairy’s revitalization, with an investment of Rs 150 crore.
The Chief Minister emphasized that the state government aims to revive the dairy sector by partnering with Amul, the largest dairy in the country. Under the ‘Jagananna Pala Velluva’ scheme launched on December 20, 2020, Amul collected 8,78,56,917 liters of milk within two years. The government has been transferring funds to dairy farmers’ accounts every ten days.
Jagan retaliated against his predecessor Chandrababu Naidu, under whose tenure the dairy plant was shut down. He highlighted that the Chittoor dairy plant was abruptly closed twenty years ago in 2002 when Naidu was the Chief Minister. Jagan accused Naidu of conspiring against the plant and deceiving farmers in his own district to eliminate competition for his family’s dairy company, the Heritage Group, established in 1992.