India’s Milk production is estimated to increase to 146.31 million tonnes in 2015-16 while the per capita availability of milk has also increased to 302 gm — more than the minimum quantity recommended by the WHO(World health organization), Union Minister Radha Mohan Singh said today.
“For the first time there is a record enhancement of Milk Production at 6.3 per cent whereas on international scenario there is only an increment of 2.2 per cent,” the Agriculture Minister said at an event here.
Milk production is estimated to increase by 6.3 per cent to 146.31 million tonne in 2015-16 from from 137.61 million tonne in 2013-14, he said.
“The country has also been able to provide on an average 302 gm per person per day milk which is more than the minimum quantity required recommended by the WHO,” he said after inaugurating Kalki Bhawan and Narmada Hostel of National Dairy Research Institute here.
The minister, however, said that even as India stands first on global milk production scenario, milk productivity per animal is far less than the average in developed dairy nations.
“There is a need to focus on implementing technologies which result in enhanced milk production per animal,” he said.
He also pointed out that while focusing on promoting cross breeding of dairy cows to meet high demand indigenous cattle breeds have been neglected.
“It is time now that programmes focusing on improvement in productivity of indigenous cattle are developed and implemented intensively,” he said.
The minister stated that a new initiative as National Gokul Mission has been launched for the preservation and promotion of indigenous cow breeds for the first time.
“A sum of Rs 550 crore has been released for 29 proposals from 27 states by December, 2015. Two new national Kambhenu Breeding Centres are being set up (each one in north and south India respectively),” he said.
The minister also said that there is need to improve the quality of agriculture education in the country instead of focusing on enhancing number of graduates alone.
“India has vast network of institutions for imparting higher education in various agriculture and allied disciplines. …We are required to improve the quality of agricultural education,” Singh said.
The projections indicate that by 2020, there would be annual demand of over 40,000 graduates, 10,500 post graduates and 2,800 doctoral degree holders in agricultural and animal sciences, the minister said.
To fill up the gap related to the scarcity of veterinary doctors, he said the government has increased the number of veterinary colleges from 36 to 40 and seats have also been upped from 914 to 1332 in 17 veterinary colleges.
Singh also said that in India, there are wide variations in profitability at the regional level on one hand, and across small-holder vis-a-vis commercial level on the other.
“The net returns on investment range from 15-30 per cent on commercial dairy herds in dynamic milk regions, while profit margins on small-holder farms are below 10 per cent in several regions. This would help in attracting the rural youths in adapting dairying as a profession,” he said.
He also pointed out that the consumption of milk and its products has increased in both rural and urban food baskets.
“In the past decades, there has been an increase in the consumption of milk and milk products in rural and urban areas by 29 and 26 per cent, respectively.
“The consumer preferences in India are diversifying towards high value added dairy products such as dairy beverages, fermented milk products, Western dairy products, functional dairy products, and packaged traditional dairy products.
“Market growth rate for some of these products is in the range of 15-20 per cent. Keeping in view possibilities and trends, it is important that we find new wage and means and technologies for processing into different dairy products,” Singh said.
He also said that he strongly believes our institutions of agricultural research and education will attain the highest levels of excellence in development of technologies and competent human resources to effectively deal with new challenges in the changing scenario.
Courtesy: WHO report - PTI
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