New Delhi, Nov 26: Milk production in the country has recorded a growth rate of 6.28 percent during the last couple of years, which is much higher than the previous growth rate of 43 percent.
The Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said that per capita availability of milk has increased from 307 grammes per day in 2013-14 to 340 gms per day in 2015-16 registering a growth of 5 percent.
Singh was addressing a function held to commemorate the National Milk Day in the capital on Saturday. The National Milk Day is celebrated on the birth anniversary of Dr Verghese Kurien, the Father of White Revolution in India.
Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Sudarshan Bhagat, scientist and officers of the Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairy & Fisheries, Department of Agriculture & Cooperation, ICAR and representative of Milk Federations from across the country were present on the occasion. During the event, 'e-pashuhaat' portal (www.epashuhaat.gov.in) was also launched.
Radha Mohan Singh further said that ‘e-pashuhaat’ portal has been developed for connecting breeders and farmers regarding the availability of bovine germplasm.
Through the portal breeders /farmers can sell and purchase breeding stock, information on all forms of germplasm including semen, embryos and live animals with all the agencies and stakeholders in the country has been uploaded on the portal.
Through this portal, farmers will be made aware of the availability of quality disease free bovine germplasm with different agencies in the country. The portal will lead to the propagation of high genetic merit germplasm.
Recalling Dr Kurien’s contribution in organising the dairy farmers Radha Mohan Singh said that India is now the world leader in milk production because of the small producers. He said that a lot of work is to be done to make available sufficient nutrition and milk to every child in the country.
The Agriculture Minister said that India with 190.90 million cattle (as per 19th Livestock Census 2012) has 13 % of the world cattle population. Out of this, 151 million are indigenous, which is 80% of the total cattle population.
The country with 108.7 million buffaloes has 57% of the world buffalo population. The country is number one in the bovine population having 18% of the world population and contributing 20% of the total milk produced in the world.
Singh mentioned that to increase the productivity of indigenous cattle population the allocation for development and conservation of indigenous breeds has been increased by manifold from Rs 45 crores in 2013 to Rs 582 crores.
“Rashtriya Gokul Mission”, a new initiative under National Programme for Bovine Breeding and Dairy Development has been launched for the first time in the country, with a view to conserve and develop indigenous bovine breeds.
The mission also envisages establishment of integrated cattle development centres ‘Gokul Grams to develop indigenous breeds including upto 40% nondescript breeds. Till date projects from 27 States have been approved with an allocation of Rs 582.09 crore and out of this an amount of Rs 216.54 crores has been released to the States for implementation.
Establishment of 14 Gokul grams have been sanctioned under the scheme with an outlay of Rs 129 crores. Two “National Kamdhenu Breeding Centres” are being as a Centre of Excellence to develop and conserve Indigenous Breeds in a holistic and scientific manner.
The National Kamdhenu Breeding Centre, besides being a repository of indigenous germplasm, will also be a source of Certified Genetics in the Country. An amount of Rs 25 crore each has been released.
Singh mentioned that indigenous breeds besides being heat tolerant and resistant to diseases our indigenous breeds of cows are known to produce A2 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. Amount of Rs 2 crore each has been sanctioned to Odisha and Karnataka for marketing of A2A2 Milk of our indigenous breeds. Agriculture Minister mentioned that the milk federations of the country to market A2A2 milk separately for benefits of consumers and poor farmers rearing indigenous cattle.
The Minister said that to meet evergrowing demand of milk and to make milk production more remunerative to the farmers Government has initiated new scheme National Mission on Bovine Productivity with an allocation of Rs 825.00 crore.