Kakinada: The hardness in your sago could indicate adulteration. which has affected the industry. Stocks have piled up as sales have plunged.Food Standards Authority of India officials recently conducted raids on seven sago mills in AP and sent samples to laboratories.
East Godavari is famous for the sago industry. Products like sago starch, powder and chips are exported to other states.Tapioca is the main raw material for sago products. Earlier, the crop was cultivated on nearly 2 lakh acres. Due to lack of minimum support price and unable to bear losses, farmers reduced the crop to 80,000 acres last year.
Sources said this year, tapioca was cultivated in 40,000 acres, and production fell to 8,000 quintals.That’s not all. The number of sago mills have fallen by half to 20. To cope with losses, some mills are adulterating the products.
“Sago should be produced from just tapioca. But, some mills are using maize. It is against FSSAI rules,” said Mr Ambati Ramakrishna, a tapioca farmer and RTI activist. He has lodged a complaint with the district collector and FSSAI authorities.Many states were rejecting the product and this has hit genuine manufacturers, he said.