The Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Shri Radha Mohan Singh today laid the foundation stone for the first dairy plant in Motihari of East Champaran District. Addressing the gathering, Shri Singh said that India has reached such a stage that it is providing opportunities galore for the entrepreneurs at the international level. Agriculture Minister said that the growth in the dairy sector is a result of the initiatives taken by the Government by implementing various schemes to increase productivity of milch animals. Shri Singh said that India is the prime producer of milk and has been holding the number one position globally over the past two decades. Milk production, which was around 17 - 22 million tonnes in the 1960s, has increased to 165.4 million tonnes in 2016-17. During the year 2016-17 milk production increased by 20.12% as compared to 2013-14. Shri Singh further said that the Per Capita availability of milk grew by 15.6% during the year 2016-17 taking it to 355 grams from 307 grams in 2013-14. Likewise, the income of the dairy farmers grew by 23.77% during 2014-17 as compared to 2011-14. In the last three years, milk production in India grew by 6.3% every year thus surpassing the annual global growth rate of 2.1%.Agriculture Minister also said that dairy farming has become a source of livelihood and food security at the rural level, especially for landless and marginal farmers. About 80 million farmers are connected with the dairy business and they rear 80% of the total milch cattle.
The Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying & Fisheries has initiated a number of schemes with the objective of doubling the dairy farmers’ income in line with Hon’ble Prime Minister’s mission to double farmers’ income by the 75th anniversary of India’s independence (the year 2022). In this direction, dairy farmers’ income could be raised in two ways – first, by increasing milk production by improving their productivity and second, through raising the price of raw milk per kilogram.Shri Singh said that for the first time in the country Rashtriya Gokul Mission was launched in December 2014 for the conservation and promotion of the indigenous breeds. Under the scheme, so far Rs.1350 crore have been approved for the proposals from 28 states and Rs.503 crore have already been released for the same. The Agriculture Minister said establishing Gokul Grams is one of the components of the Rashtriya Gokul Mission. Gokul Grams will act as a centre for the development of the indigenous species and it will also supply animals to the farmers for breeding. Currently, 18 Gokul Grams in 12 different states are being established. Apart from this, the Government is undertaking the establishment of two National Kamdhenu Breeding Centres for the conservation and development of indigenous bovine breeds in Chintaladevi, Nellore in the Southern region and in Itarsi, Hoshangabad, in the Northern region. Out of the two, Chintaladevi Centre in Andhra Pradesh is complete. Under this scheme, 41 bovine breeds and 13 buffaloes will be preserved.The Minister said that in November 2016 we have also started National Mission on Bovine Productivity Scheme under Rashtriya Gokul Mission with an allocation of Rs.825 crores. The aim is to accelerate milk production and productivity and to also make the milk production more profitable. Meanwhile, Pashu Sanjivn component is identifying 9 crore milch animals through UID, and the government has already sanctioned funds for this scheme. The scheme also includes the provision of providing 'Nakul Swasthya Patra' to all these animals.