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Friday, June 14, 2024
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Strengthening Dairy & Fisheries Sectors

In a chat with SMART AGRIPOST, Devendra Chaudhry, Secretary, Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying & Fisheries explains what kind of initiatives are taken by his department during last three years and how these will help enhance income  of the farmers in the country.


  1. Although India is the largest milk producer in the world, the productivity of our animal is comparatively very low. What schemes and plans government has put in place to improve the productivity of indigenous cattle?


Ans: The Government has launched two programs totalling Rs 2025 crores for enhancing the productivity of the indigenous cattle from the current average of about 2.2 liters per day to 5 liters per day as part of the “Doubling the Farmers Income” goal by 2022.


These programmes are – Rashtriya Gokul Mission and National Mission on Bovine Productivity


Under the Rashtriya Gokul Mission conservation and development of 40 breeds of indigenous cattle and 13 breeds of buffalo has been taken up through Rs.582 crores program. The key goal is to improve the income asset of the farmer – the cow or buffalo by making it more productive and useful.


The Rashtriya Gokul Mission also envisages establishment of integrated cattle development centres ‘Gokul Grams’ to develop indigenous breeds including upto 40% nondescript breeds. Establishment of 14 Gokul grams has been sanctioned under the scheme with an outlay of Rs.129 crores. All the State Governments should implement the Gokul Gram project in an expeditious manner.


Further a very novel initiative has been taken for establishing a germplasm  bank of live animals of all breeds of entire Northern parts including North East region and North West part of India in Madhya Pradesh and another one in Sothern part of India in Andhra Pradesh. Two “National Kamdhenu Breeding Centres” to be established as Centres 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 to Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh for establishment of National Kamdhenu Breeding Centres.


Under National Mission on Bovine Productivity, Rs.825 crore has been earmarked to enhance productivity of the bovines. The key components are – i) Improve availability of disease free female bovines through In-Vitro-Fertilization and Embryo Transfer Techniques (ETT). For this 50 ETT laboratories will be set up for production of 3000 bulls of high genetic merit indigenous breeds like Gir, Sahiwal, Red Sindhi, etc., ii) Use of sex sorted semen technology & techniques, iii) Further, a National Bovine Genomic Centre for Indigenous Breeds (NBGC-IB) will be established to increase production and productivity of indigenous breeds through genomic selection.

Through these modern techniques, the government targets to upgrade 11 crore cattle in 5-7 years and achieve double the milk yield per day as compared to the present yield.

  1. The availability of green fodder is also a problem especially during drought and summer seasons. What are you doing to address the availability of feed and fodder?


Ans: For the first time, our department has taken up this task of development of local community land, Pasture land and Gochar, for cultivating fodder in the over 10.2 million hectares of Pasture land in the country.

After discussions with state departments, we have prepared following action points.


In the first phase, every State should identify 1000 hectares of Pasture land in selected districts having large areas of Pasture land for scientific cultivation of fodder.  In the second phase, this quantity will be doubled so that in two years’ time at least 1% of the available Pasture land is taken up for scientific fodder cultivation.


This cultivation is being taken up for funding under the National Livestock Mission wherein assistance of Rs.1.00 lakh per hectare is being given for the first time to grow fodder.  Under this assistance, high quality fodder seeds will be provided free of cost, providing infrastructure for irrigation, will also be free.


Coordination meetings have been held with ICAR Institutes – IGFRI and NIANP for scientific fodder species cultivation as per the Agro Climatic Zone and the extant soil conditions.


Further, focus is being made on the special cultivation of fodder in drought prone districts of the country.  For this purpose, data has been collected from 311 districts wherein drought has impacted as per available requirement.  Out of these 311 districts, 48 districts, which are highly drought prone, in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka have been identified for immediate taking up of fodder cultivation, in case there is drought condition in the forthcoming summer.


Already in 2016-17 about 500 hectares of land have been identified in Orissa (335 hectares), Chhattisgarh (30 hectares), Jharkhand (100 hectares) etc. for scientific fodder cultivation.


  1. The government has recently approved the proposal for Dairy Infrastructure Development Fund with an outlay of Rs.10,881/- crore. Can you share the details of the projects envisaged under these funds?


Ans: The Union Budget 2017 announced an outlay of Rs.10,881 crore Dairy Processing & Infrastructure Development Fund” (DIDF) to be utilized during the period from 2017-20 for modernization and expansion of the cooperative and milk producer organization managed dairy sector. This will help increase its current share of procurement of 12% of total milk produced in the country and it is targeted to increase it to 25 per cent by 2022.


This is the first time in the country since independence that such a large size fund has been created for assisting the Milk Cooperative and Milk Farmer Producer Organizations. The funds under will be disbursed at a concessional rate of 6.5% interest to dairy cooperative, milk producer company, multi-state cooperative society etc. across the country through agencies like National Dairy Development Board and National Cooperative Development Corporation.


With this investment, 95 lac farmers in about 50,000 villages would be benefitted. Additional Milk processing capacity of 126 lakh litre per day, milk drying capacity of 210 MT per day, milk chilling capacity of 140 lakh litre per day, installation of 28000 Bulk Milk Coolers (BMCs) along with electronic milk adulteration testing equipment and value added products manufacturing capacity of 59.78 lakh litre per day of milk equivalent shall be created.


The Department is further negotiating a concessional loan of over Rs.16,000 crores from Japanese Investment Agency (JICA) under the Assistance to Cooperatives for Dairying initiative. A key achievement under this assistance programme would be to install Bulk milk chillers for better preservation and marketing of milk in 1.05 lac villages.



  1. Although we produce 18% of the total global milk production, our share in global trade is less than 1%. What initiatives Government has taken to promote the Dairy exports?

Ans: India continues to be the top producer of milk in the world with production of 15.6 crore tons in 2015-16 from a population of more than 8.8 crore in-milk cows and buffaloes and benefitting about 7.9 crore farmers, 80% of which are small and marginal farmers.


There has been an 18.9% increase in 2016-17 as compared to 2013-14. The per capita availability of milk has also increased by 13% to 347 grams per person per day in the same period.

The milk cooperatives are purchasing over 43 crore liters of milk every day from about 1.5 crore farmers which is a 12 per cent increase in the last two years. The dairy cooperatives offer a wide opportunity for Women economic empowerment with over 50 lakh women members in the cooperative societies across the country.


More than Rs.2571 crore of payments were made in May 2017 through bank accounts by the societies to the milk farmers.



  1. One of the flagship schemes of the Government is Blue Revolution. What is the idea behind blue revolution? What are the initiatives your department has taken to improve fisheries sector?


Ans: Foreseeing its high potential, the Hon’ble Prime Minister has called for a revolution in the fisheries sector. It is called as “Blue Revolution”The Blue Revolution, with its multi-dimensional activities, focuses mainly on increasing fisheries production and productivity from aquaculture and fisheries resources, both inland and marine.


During the past three financial years (2014-15 to 2016-17) a sum of Rs.1214.00 crore has been released to the States/UTs for the implementation the Blue Revolution Scheme.


The implementation of the scheme mainly focuses on effective and sustainable utilization of water bodies, providing of quality seeds to farmers at affordable rates, besides vertical horizontal expansion of aquaculture activities.


During the period 2014-15 to 2016-17, due attention has been given for setting up of hatcheries, expansion of area under fresh water and brackish water, fish culture, setting up of cages in reservoirs, development of wetland and waterlogged areas, saline affected areas and creation of fisheries infrastructure facilities etc.


The major achievement during the period 2014-15 to 2016-17 includes (i)development of 27, 211.47 ha area for Aquaculture, (ii) 66% increase in relief amount under Saving-cum-Relief component to fishermen. Compensation enhanced from Rs.900 per month to Rs.1500 per month and accordingly 9.09 lakh fishers benefited under off-season compensation (iii) 60% increase in assistance for unit cost of fishermen house. Assistance increased from Rs.0.75 lakh to Rs.1.20 lakh in General States and Rs.1.30 lakh in North Eastern and Himalayan States and accordingly assistance of Rs.4805 lakhs sanctioned for 11280 fishermen houses (iv) 48 lakhs fishers Insured Annually under Accident Benefits Scheme (v) 5,563 Traditional Crafts Motorized benefiting 27,815 fishers (vi) 12142 Safety Kits/ Equipment supply benefiting 97136 fishers (vii) Capacity Building of 49,361 fishers done (viii) 5849 cages installed for cage culture for 17547 thousand Kg. of fish (ix) 215 hatcheries approved for Fish Seed Production and 51600 lakh additional fish seed to be produced. Certainly, the fisheries sector has the potential to enhance income of the farmers.


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