Seen as a landmark move for the country's animal husbandry sector, the formation of a separate Ministerial portfolio for Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries under the newly formed Narendra Modi government has been welcomed by the dairy institutions and bodies.
Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), the marketer of Amul, on Saturday welcomed the decision to create a separate department for Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries.
Ramsinhbhai Parmar, Chairman, GCMMF termed the decision as the "most appropriate one" considering the significant contribution of dairying and fisheries has in the overall GDP of the country.
"Dairying and Animal Husbandry contributes around Rs 7.7 lakh crores per year to the GDP which is around 4.2 per cent of National GDP. It has emerged as a primary source of income for about 7 crores rural households – most of them are either landless, small or marginal farmers. Animal Husbandry and dairying is contributing around 30 per cent of total agriculture GDP. It is therefore most appropriate that a separate ministry is created which would ensure proper focus and right budget and resource allocation that the sector required," Parmar said.
Milk, according to him, is the “largest agriculture crop of India” and total value of produced is around Rs 7 lakh crores which is more than the total value of all pulses and grain put together.
He stated that India has remained top milk producer in the world for last 21 years with current milk production at around 176 million tonnes per year (about 48 crore liters per day) which is around 20 per cent of the world milk production.
Quoting NSSO survey figures, Parmar stated that "Currently, Animal Husbandry and dairying contributes around 12 per cent of total farmers’ income but as per NSSO survey, farmers income growth rate from the sector is around 14.3 per cent which implies that sector can contribute reatly in doubling farmers’ income, a vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi."
A latest decision to allocate separate budget to control Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) and Brucellosis also received praises from the sector.
R S Sodhi, Managing Director, GCMMF said that milk producer members are losing around 80-90 per cent of the milk when infected with FMD and around 25-30 per cent when infected with brucellosis.
"By vaccinating all bovine animals against FMD and Brucellosis, we can reduce the milk production loss which is directly beneficial to milk producer members," he added.
Based on urbanisation and population growth estimates, dairy industry envisaged that India needs around 64 crores liter of milk per day to fulfill the demand for milk and milk products. This means India’s milk production needs to grow at around 3.2 per cent CAGR for the next 40 years. At this crucial time, a separate ministry for dairying will boost the prospects to achieve this goal.