Singh terms India oyster of global dairy industry on National Milk Day.

GFN 1

On the occasion of National Milk Day, Radha Mohan Singh, agriculture and farmers’ welfare minister, stated that India was the oyster of the global dairy industry, with opportunities galore for the entrepreneurs globally. For the last 15 years, India has been the largest producer of milk in the world (which it still is). This phenomenal increase is attributable to the several measures initiated by the government of India to increase the productivity of livestock.

Singh stated that increasing the milk production significantly from 137.7 million tonne in 2013-14 to 164 million tonne in 2016-17. Milk production increased by 18.81 per cent in 2016-17 when compared to 2013-14. Similarly, the per capita availability of milk increased from 307g in 2013-14 to 351g in 2016-17. The annual growth rate of milk production during the period between 2011 and 2014 was four per cent, which increased to six per cent between 2014 and 2017. The annual growth rate of world milk production has increased by two per cent between 2014 and 2017.

On the occasion, Singh also said that the livestock sector contributed significantly towards livelihoods and provided landless and marginal farmers a security net. About 70 million rural households are engaged in dairying in India with 80 per cent of the total cow population. The strength of women in dairy has reached 70 per cent of the total work force (about 44 lakh). Of this, 3, 60,000 women are in leadership roles in village dairy cooperatives and 380 women on the boards of Union and state federations.

Singh said that the consumption of milk was rising, commensurate with increase in the purchasing power of people, increasing urbanisation, changing food habits and lifestyles and demographic growth. Milk, with its varied benefits, is the only source of animal protein for the largely vegetarian population of the country. Further, factors such as increased consumer interest in high-protein diets and the increasing awareness about and availability of value-added dairy products through organised retail chains are also driving its demand.

In the last 15 years, milk cooperatives have converted about 20 per cent of the milk procured into traditional and value-added products that offer about 20 per cent higher revenue. This share of value-added products is estimated to increase to 30 per cent by 2021-22. Singh informed that the government has initiated a number of dairy development schemes, so that the enhanced demand, due to a variety of factors, is met through domestic sources by laying special focus on raising milk production through improved productivity of our dairy animals.

A new scheme, the Rashtriya Gokul Mission, has been initiated for the first time in the country. Under it, 18 Gokul Grams are being set up in 12 different states. Also two awards, the Gopal Ratna Award – for the upkeep of the best dairy animals of indigenous breeds – and the Kamdhenu Award – for institutions maintaining best herd of indigenous breeds – were awarded.

This year, on World Milk Day, 10 Gopal Ratna and 12 Kamdhenu awards have been awarded. Two National Kamdhenu Breeding Centres – one each in Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh – are being set up for conservation of indigenous breeds. In these centres, 41 cattle and 13 buffalo breeds would be conserved. In order to make dairy business more profitable, the National Bovine Productivity Mission, has been in initiated with creation of the e-Pashuhaat portal. This is playing an important role in linking milk producers and breeders for indigenous breeds.

Singh said that a scheme, titled Dairy Processing and Infrastructure Development Fund (DIDF), had been initiated for the dairy cooperative sector with an outlay of Rs 10,881 crore. This scheme would focus on the creation of additional milk processing infrastructure and chilling infrastructure through setting up of bulk milk coolers. Also provisions have been made for providing electronic milk adulteration testing equipment and facilities for manufacturing value-added products.

The minister said, “With gradual shift towards a technology-driven environment, there is a great need for adopting advanced systems and strengthening the existing ones to meet the future challenges.” “The National Action Plan Vision-2022 is being prepared to fill the gaps in the infrastructure required to handle the increased coverage and milk production, not only to meet the demand of milk and milk products, but also to fulfill the objective of doubling the farmers’ incomes,” he added.

Source: F n B News.

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