Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Radha Mohan Singh today the Centre has initiated Rashtriya Gokul Mission with an objective to conserve and propagate indigenous breeds in an organized and scientific manner and till now Rs.1,077 crore has been sanctioned for the proposals received from 27 states under the scheme.
Addressing the Pashu Arogya Mela in Semwapur, Motihari, Bihar, Singh said that so far, Rs.499.08 crore has been released under the Mission and Rs.67 crore has been allocated to Bihar. He said that Rs.22.5 crore has been sanctioned for the implementation of this scheme and this scheme will help in increasing milk production and milk productivity in the region.
India has emerged as a leader among the milk-producing nations and added that in 2016-17, 163.7 million tonne milk was produced in the country, which is worth over Rs.4 lakh crore. According to official estimates, in 2015-16 total milk production in Bihar was 8.29 million metric tonne, which was 5.33% of the whole country.
Singh said that Bihar has 6.67% of the country’s total cattle population and therefore, there is a need to increase milk production and productivity in the state. He informed that Bachaur is the indigenous cattle breed of Bihar and there is 6.73 lakh Bachaur cattle breed in the region, out of which 2.99 lakh are reproductive animals. He said that there is a huge possibility of increasing productivity of Indigenous breeds in the country through commercial farm management and balanced nutrition.
Under the Mission, 1250 MAITRI centres are being set up to facilitate artificial insemination for cattle on the doorstep and this will also give a new direction to the conservation of the indigenous breeds, the Minister said. Along with other components, setting up of Gokul Gram is also included under Rashtriya Gokul Mission. One Gokul Gram will have 500 animals with high genetic quality, out of which 300 will be reproductive animals. The Gokul Grams will rear Lal Sindhi, Sahiwal and Gir breeds along with Bachaur.
Singh said that Comfed/Sudha are playing important roles in collection, processing, and marketing of milk in Bihar. In Bihar, Comfed/Sudha are providing an appropriate value of the milk to the farmers through cooperative agencies. In comparison to 15 million men, 75 million women are engaged in this field.
According to him, dairy farming has been a traditional source of livelihood and it has a deep connection with the agricultural economy. At present, there are 19 crore cattle in the country, which amounts to 14% of the total cattle population of the world. Out of them,15.1 crores are Indigenous cattle, which is 80 % of the total cattle population. The country’s dairy cooperatives provide an average of 75 to 80 percent of its sales to the farmers.
The Minister said that India has 30 crore bovines, which is 18% of the total bovine population of the world. The country’s indigenous bovine is the result of traditional and scientific knowledge and hardwork of hundred years. “Today, we have 40 breeds of cattle along with Yak and Mithun and 13 breeds of buffaloes,” he said, adding that indigenous animals are more suitable for the country, particularly suitable for climate and environment of their reproductive areas.