Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Tuesday announced a high-powered committee to prepare a comprehensive action plan to boost the dairy sector with the aim of supplementing the income of farmers in a result-oriented manner.The Chief Minister has asked the ACS Animal Husbandry to complete the formalities for setting up the five-member committee, an official spokesperson disclosed after a high-level meeting chaired by the Chief Minister to review the progress of various state development projects and schemes related to animal husbandry, dairy and fisheries sectors.The committee would consist of Chairman State Farmers Commission, Director Animal Husbandry, Director Dairy Development, a representative of Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU). It will suggest measures to promote diversification of agriculture with the aim of enhancing farmers’ income from allied sources.The Chief Minister asked the chairman of the state farmers commission, Ajaiveer Jakhar, to engage the services of Israeli dairy farming expert Yehuda Sprecher as Advisor to the Animal Husbandry department. Sprecher was here to attend the meeting.Underlining the need to augment farmers’ income to make agriculture viable again, Captain Amarinder Singh said that as monetary output from the traditional cropping pattern had already reached saturation point, alternative avenues of agricultural growth need to be sustained and explored.
He stressed the need to motivate farmers to switch to allied farming for economic viability.Emphasizing the importance of intensifying the network of extension services, Captain Amarinder Singh asked the department to synergise its efforts with GADVASU to transfer their knowledge base to the dairy farmers. He also asked the department to tie up with PAU to explore possibilities to promote bee keeping, piggery, goatery etc to further help the farmers strengthen their economic stability.The Chief Minister also asked the Director Animal Husbandry to keep a check over unregulated livestock insemination to prevent any adverse effect on the animals in future.Earlier, Yehuda Sprecher, in a powerpoint presentation, suggested improving the quality of feed and fodder to increase the quantity and quality of milk in the state. He also apprised the Chief Minister about various issues like heat stress, increasing carbon footprint and importance of Total Mixed Ration feed.Others at the meeting included Minister for Animal Husbandry Balbir Singh Sidhu, Media Advisor to CM Raveen Thukral, Additional Chief Secretary Animal Husbandry NS Kalsi, Additional Chief Secretary Industries & Commerce Vini Mahajan, Additional Chief Secretary Development Viswajeet Khanna, Special Secretary Animal Husbandry Raj Kamal Chaudhary, Secretary Water Supply and Sanitation Jaspreet Talwar, Vice Chancellor GADVASU Dr. Amarjeet Singh Nanda, and VC PAU Dr. Baldev Singh Dhillon.