An ambitious programme has been launched by the government to protect indigenous breeds, and increase milk production
Archana Mishra | May 16, 2016
A national project ‘Rashtriya Gokul Mission’ has been launched by the government to increase the productivity of local cows by starting ‘gokul grams’ to prevent their cross breeding. The project is estimated to cost more than Rs 582 crore, minister of agriculture and farmers welfare Radha Mohan Singh said during a day-long conference on Gauvansh (cow clan)/Gaushalas (cow shelter) held at Vigyan Bhawan here on Monday.
The mission was started to develop and conserve indigenous breeds, increase milk production and productivity, upgrade nondescript cattle using elite indigenous breeds like Gir, Sahiwal, Rathi, Deoni, Tharparkar, Red Sindhi and to distribute disease free high genetic merit bull.
He said, "The cow is the backbone of Indian economy...I can tell you that any farmer or Dalit who has a cow will not die of hunger." "We have to see how can we meet the challenge of increasing cow's productivity (in terms of giving more milk and post that), how can one take better care of cows and how can their security be ensured against smugglers and other cruel incidents (like slaughter).”
Singh also mentioned about the upcoming dairy plants in Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. He compared their initiatives with the previous government schemes on cow wealth conservation where only Rs 45 crore was sanctioned.
Singh spoke about Rajasthan government’s initiative for cattle owners. Hearing this, representatives from Rajasthan shouted about the lax attitude of the state government. The minister though laid thrust on the ongoing projects on promoting animal husbandry all across the country.
The one- day conference organized by ministry of environment, forest and climate change along with the department of animal husbandry, dairying and fishing was aimed at addressing issues related to milk production, provisions for food, fodder and challenges of barren cows.
Prakash Javadekar, minister of environment, spoke about the smuggling of cows and the role of animal welfare board in addressing the issue. He said, “They should take immediate notice of such incidents and send report to the ministry so that the action could be taken against in such cases.”
Participants raised the issue of the quality of milk supplied in the market, considering the fact that India is the world’s largest producer and consumer of milk. According to National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), the country’s demand will increase to 200 million tonnes in 2021-22.
Home minister Rajnath Singh, who was the chief guest, was not present as he had to attend a drought related conference at the PMO.
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