Union Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Minister Radha Mohan Singh stated that India is a World leader in milk production for the past 15 years and this achievement is primarily due to the contribution of smallholder dairy farmers, milk producers, milk processing and marketing organisations and various other stakeholders involved.
On the occasion of World Milk Day, addressing a gathering at at the at NASC Complex in New Delhi, Singh said that although considerable progress has been made in Milk Production, still India has miles to cover in order to provide milk-based nutrition support to all the children in the country.
The Minister said that in the year 2014-17, milk production increased by 16.9 percent to 465.5 million tonnes as compared to 398 million tonnes during 2011-14. Similarly, in the year 2014-17, income of farmers increased by 13.79 percent to Rs.33 per litre as compared to Rs.29 per litre during 2011-14.
In order to increase the productivity of Indigenous Cattle, the Government has increased the allocation for preservation and development of Indigenous Breeds manifold. For the first time in the country, an initiative called Rashtriya Gokul Mission has been taken with an objective to preserve and develop indigenous bovine. Major objectives of the Mission are establishment of Gokul Gram, Field Performance recording, awarding farmers and institutes involved in the scientific rearing of Indigenous animals, strengthening Bull Mother farms, and inducting high genetic merit Bulls of Indigenous Breed into Semen Stations. Further, two National Kamdhenu Breeding Centres are being established as centres of excellence for preservation and development of Indigenous Breeds in a scientific way. Besides being a storehouse of Indigenous Germplasm, National Kamdhenu Breeding Centres would also be a source of proven genetics.
Singh said that Indigenous Breeds, besides being heat tolerant and resistant to diseases, are popular for producing A2A2 type milk which protects us from various chronic health problems such as Cardio Vascular Diseases, Diabetes and Neurological Disorders besides providing several other health benefits. There is a need to market A2A2 milk separately in the country.
To meet the growing demand of milk and to make milk production more profitable, the Government has approved new scheme – National Mission for Bovine Productivity – and allocated Rs.825 crore for the same. For the first time in the country, E-Pashu Haat portal has been established under Rashtriya Gokul Mission. The portal would play a vital role in making available quality bovine germplasm by linking farmers with livestock rearers. This portal would help the livestock rearers and the farmers to sell and purchase Cattle and Buffaloes of Indigenous Breeds. The Minister said that Hon’ble Prime Minister has an objective to double farmer’s income by 2022. The dairy sector will play a significant role in achieving this objective. He stated that all the stakeholders will have to work together to achieve this objective.
On this occasion, the Minister also distributed National Gopal Ratna and Kamdhenu Awards to dairy farmers for the year 2017. Both these awards were introduced this year.