Radha Mohan Singh, Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister during the One Day National Conference on Gauvansh / Gaushalas has mentioned that livelihood of 60 million rural households depend upon dairy sector. Out of this, two third are small, marginal and landless labourers.
Agriculture and farmers Welfare Minister mentioned that India is a global leader amongst dairying nations and produced 160.35 million tonnes of milk during 2015-16. The dairy cooperatives of the country have the singular distinction of providing seventy five percent of their sales, on an average, to the farmers.
Singh informed that as many as 75 million women are engaged in the sector as against 15 million men. There is an increasing trend towards participation of women in livestock development activities. This has led to empowerment of women-headed households in the rural communities.
Agriculture and farmers Welfare Minister has mentioned that India with 30 crore bovines has 18% of the world’s bovine population. Cattle Genetic Resources have been evolved by the farmers/cattle rearers/breeders using traditional and scientific knowledge, and today we have 39 breeds of cattle.
Singh informed that indigenous breeds are robust and resilient and are particularly suited to the climate and environment of their respective breeding tracts. They are endowed with qualities of heat tolerance, resistance to diseases and the ability to thrive under extreme climates and low plane of nutrition.
Agriculture and farmers Welfare Minister stated that studies of impact of Climate Change and effect of temperature rise on milk production of dairy animals indicates that temperature rise due to global warming will negatively impact milk production. The decline in milk production and reproductive efficiency will be highest in exotic and crossbred cattle followed by buffaloes. Indigenous breeds will be least effected by global warming. In order to develop heat tolerant and disease resistant stock countries including United States of America, Brazil and Australia have imported our indigenous breeds.
Singh also stated that the indigenous breeds of cows are known to produce A2 type protein rich milk which protects us from various chronic health problems such as Cardio Vascular Diseases, Diabetes and neurological disorders besides providing several other health benefits. Earlier Hon’ble Minister has spoken with scientists and people engaged in marketing of Milk were of opinion the A2A2 rich milk should be separately marketed in the country. Hon’ble Minister informed the house that Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries has sanctioned Rs. 2 cr each to Odisha and Karnataka for marketing of A2A2 rich Milk of our indigenous breeds.
Agriculture and farmers Welfare Minister informed that the potential to enhance the productivity of the indigenous bovine breeds of India through professional farm management and superior nutrition is immense. For the first time in the country, Rastriya Gokul Mission has been initiated under National Programme for Bovine Breeding and Dairy Development to take up development and conservation of indigenous breeds in a focused and scientific manner. Under the Scheme 35 projects with an allocation of Rs. 582.09 cr has been sanctioned.