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Verghese Kurien

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Verghese Kurien (Associated Press/Ajit Solanki)
NEW DELHI (AP) — Verghese Kurien, an engineer known as "India's milkman" who helped revolutionize the country's dairy industry, has died at age 90.

A longtime aide, P.A. Joseph, says Kurien died Sunday. He had been hospitalized earlier in the month after he grew weak and stopped eating on his own.

Indian leaders hailed Kurien as a visionary who empowered hundreds of thousands of dairy farmers and turned the nation into the world's largest milk producer, ending chronic shortages.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh offered his condolences, saying Kurien engineered a "white revolution."

Kurien set up a large milk cooperative in Gujarat state that allowed small-scale dairy farmers to pool their resources and sell their products under a single brand. The cooperative, Amul, has grown into one of the country's best-known brands.

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