There is a need to focus on implementing technologies which result in enhanced milk production per animal- Radha Mohan Singh
Shri Singh said that “another important point to ponder is that despite increase in total milk production in the country, milk productivity per animal is far less than the average in developed dairy nations. Therefore, there is a need to focus on implementing technologies which result in enhanced milk production per animal”.
Full text of Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister is as follows:
“I am glad to say that the science and technology led development in agriculture has resulted in many fold enhancement in productivity and production of different crops and commodities to match the pace of growth in food demand. The contribution of different institutes of Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Agricultural Universities, Krishi Vigyan Kendra and other associated units is highly commendable. Today, we have transformed from a food deficit to a food surplus country.
In this changing scenario of Indian agriculture sector we still need to do a lot continuously. There are several challenges in agriculture we have to meet such as reducing availability of quality water, nutrient deficiency in soils, climate change, farm energy availability, loss of biodiversity, emergence of new pests and diseases, fragmentation of farms, rural-urban migration, coupled with new Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and trade regulations.
The seed-water-fertilizer technology that brought about growth in agriculture also had its negative externalities to deal with. Increased fertilizer use that was essential for increasing the yield levels has begun to create soil problems due to unbalanced use of fertilizers. The paddy-wheat crop rotation annually removes more than 800kg/ha of nitrogen, phosphorus oxide and potassium oxide. Also, it takes a heavy toll on the micronutrient availability in the soil, such as zinc, iron, manganese and copper. Deterioration in soil health is not only manifested in stagnating crop yields, but poor plant health also has adverse health effect for human and livestock. The deficiency of minerals in the body makes them more susceptible to a number of diseases and disorders.
Keeping this vision in view, the Government has launched the Soil Health Card Scheme. Today, India is keeping fast track on economic development. We do hope that by 2050 India will be treated as one the top developed country out of three. Under Soil Health Card Scheme all the farmers of the country will be given soil health card by 2017. The farmers are required to be aware about the method how to get their soil specimen registered and how to benefit from this scheme.
Our Government has launched Parampragat Krishi Vikas Yojana for the first time so as to promote organic farming. During 2015-16 a sum of Rs. 300 crore had been allocated that 8000 clusters have been formulated as yet.
Agriculture has been as a backbone for Indian culture since centaury. Resulting in a significant role in the perspective of national growth products and creation of employment related to agronomic field. With confidence I say that the importance of agriculture will continue also in the years to come.
India has vast network of institutions for imparting higher education in various agriculture and allied disciplines. The projections indicate that by 2020, there would be annual demand of over 40,000 graduates, 10500 post graduates and 2800 doctoral degree holders in agricultural and animal sciences. To fill up the gap related to the scarcity of veterinary doctors the strength of veterinary colleges have been increased from 36 to 40 and strength of the students pertained to this faculty has been enhanced from 60 to 100. The strength of the seats has been increased from 914 to 1332 in17 veterinary colleges. The PG course in veterinary course has reached the mark of one and half more. The number of seats also multiply as one and half times more in veterinary colleges. Your are supposed to adopt sophisticated agricultural arena as profession and to divert it as one of the best professions oriented with your innovative knowledge and thought. In this respect, ICAR has also taken several initiatives like Student REDDY, ARYA (Attracting and retaining youth in Agin) etc. We are required to improve the quality of education agricultural education and not to enhance the figures only in the field concerned and we are supposed to achieve knowledge with a particular emphasis on agricultural enterprise.
The Hon’ble PM has conceptualised the scheme of “Mera Gaon Mera Gaurav” to take the technologies developed by the scientists in the field and make the villages a practical learning laboratory for the scientists. There are about 20000 scientists in the agriculture sector who will go the villages and directly work for the development of the villages especially disseminating agriculture knowledge to them. The KVK and the ATMA centres are engaged in extension but without a close nexus between the scientist extension workers and farmers the overall development of agriculture in the village is not possible.
Dairy play an important role in agriculture domain of the country with the 3.9 per cent contribution to the national gross product. It is not only a substantial source of livelihood but also most credible basis to ensure the national food requirement. It is the repercussion of the growth in dairying that the growth rate of agricultural sector has been 4 per cent unabatedly. The possibilities of future many phased that the growth rate in agriculture will remain only two per cent. The growth related to fruits and vegetables, livestock and dairy, poultry as well as fisheries will expeditiously to the mark of 5-6 per cent. It will be an extremely important contribution in the economic development of India. India stands first on global milk product scenario. Milk product has been increased from 137.61 million tonne in 2013-14 to 146.31 million tone in 2015-16. For the first time there is a record enhancement of milk production as 6.3 per cent whereas on international scenario there is only an increment of 2.2 percent enhancement of milk production.
In its journey to the top position in the world in terms of milk production, the sector has witnessed several structural changes in production, processing and consumption that have been conditioned by the changing socio-economic conditions in the country. Today we have been able to provide on an average 302 gm per person per day milk in the country which is more than the minimum required recommended by the WHO.
Keeping in mind the national requirement for augmenting milk production development programmes focussed on promoting cross breeding of dairy cows. This resulted in neglect of our indigenous cattle breeds. It is time now that programmes focussing on improvement in productivity of indigenous cattle is developed and implemented intensively.
A new initiative as National Gokul Mission has been launched for the preservation and promotion of indigenous breeded cows under national bovine genetic and dairy development programme for the first time in the country. A sum of Rs. 45 crore had been earmarked for the year 2013-14 whereas a sum of Rs. 550 crore has been released for 29 proposals from 27 states by December, 2015. To new national Kambhenu Breding Centres are being set up (each one in north and south India respectively).
Another important point to ponder is that despite increase in total milk production in the country, milk productivity per animal is far less than the average in developed dairy nations. Therefore, there is a need to focus on implementing technologies which result in enhanced milk production per animal.
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% on commercial dairy herds in dynamic milk regions, while profit margins on small-holder farms are below 10% in several regions. This would help in attracting the rural youths in adapting dairying as a profession.
The consumption of milk and milk 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%, 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%. Keeping in view possibilities and trends, it is important that we found newer wage and means and technologies for processing into different dairy products.
I not only hope but believe that our institution of agricultural research and education would not only attain highest levels of excellence in development of technologies and competent human resources to effectively deal with new challenges in the changing scenario”.