Women real leaders of India's dairy sector, says Modi
New Delhi, September 12, 2022
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said women, with a 70% representation in India’s dairy workforce, were the real leaders of the sector.
In his inaugural address at the International Dairy Federation World Dairy Summit (IDF WDS) 2022 , the Prime Minister noted that more than a third of the members of dairy cooperatives in India were women.
At more than Rs 8.5 lakh crore, the dairy sector was more than the combined value of wheat and rice. Unlike the developed countries, the driving force of the dairy sector in India was the small farmers.
India is the largest milk-producing country based on the efforts of these small farmers with one, two or three cattle. This sector employs more than 8 crore families in the country, he added.
"India also had a huge network of Dairy Cooperatives seldom found in other countries. These cooperatives collect milk twice a day from about two crore farmers in more than two lakh villages in the country and deliver it to the customers. There was no middleman in the entire process and more than 70% of the money that is received from the customers went directly into the pockets of the farmers. No other country has this ratio in the whole world,” he added.
He also underlined the efficiency of the digital system of payment in the dairy sector.
“The potential of the dairy sector not only gives impetus to the rural economy but is also a major source of livelihood for crores of people across the world,” he added.
Another unique feature of the sector was the indigenous breeds that can withstand many adverse circumstances like the sturdy Banni buffalo word in the Kutch region of Gujarat. He also talked about other buffalo breeds such as Murrah, Mehsana, Jafrabadi, Nili Ravi and Pandharpuri. Among the cow breeds, he mentioned Gir, Sahiwal, Rathi, Kankrej, Tharparker and Haryana.
He said the government has worked relentlessly to enhance the potential of India's dairy sector since 2014. This has led to an increase in milk production thereby leading to an increase in the income of farmers.
“India produced 146 million tonnes of milk in 2014. It has now increased to 210 million tonnes. That is an increase of about 44%. As compared to the 2% production growth at the global level, India is clocking milk production growth rate at more than 6%," he said.
The government was working on developing a blanched dairy ecosystem where challenges of the sectors are being addressed along with a focus on increasing production. Extra income for the farmers, empowerment of the poor, Swachhta, chemical-free farming, clean energy and care of the cattle is interlinked in this ecosystem, he said.
Modi said animal husbandry and dairy were being promoted as a powerful medium of green and sustainable growth in the villages. Schemes like Rashtriya Gokul Mission, Goberdhan Yojna, Digitization of the dairy sector and universal vaccination of cattle along with steps like banning single-use plastic, were steps in that direction.
Stressing the use of modern technology, he said India was building the largest database of dairy animals and every animal associated with the dairy sector is being tagged. “We are doing biometric identification of animals. We have named it - Pashu Adhar,” he added.
The Prime Minister also stressed the growing entrepreneurial structures like FPAs and women's self-help groups and startups. The sector has seen more than 1000 startups in recent times. He also talked about the strides in Gobardhan Yojana and said that aim is to reach a situation where dairy plants produce their electricity from Gobar. The resulting manure will help the farmers also.
Drawing an analogy to farming, he said that animal husbandry and farming require diversity and monoculture might not be the only solution. India was paying equal attention to both indigenous breeds and hybrid breeds. It will also reduce the risk of damage caused by climate change.
Referring to the health of the livestock, he said, “When the animal is sick it affects the life of the farmer, affecting his income. It also affects the efficiency of the animal, the quality of its milk and other related products.”
India was working toward universal vaccination of animals. “We have resolved that, by 2025, we will vaccinate 100% of the animals against Foot and Mouth Disease and Brucellosis. We are aiming to be completely free from these diseases by the end of this decade.”
Referring to the recent loss of livestock in many states due to the lumpy skin disease, he said the Union Government, along with various State Governments, was trying to keep a check on it. “Our scientists have prepared an indigenous vaccine for Lumpy Skin Disease. Efforts are being made to track the movement of animals to keep the outbreak under control.
“Be it vaccination of animals or any other modern technology, India is always eager to contribute to the field of dairy while striving to learn from its partner nations. The country has acted swiftly on its food safety standards,” he added.
India was working on a digital system which will capture the end-to-end activities of the livestock sector. This will provide accurate information needed to improve this sector. This summit will put forward the work that is being done around the world regarding many such technologies, he said.
The Prime Minister also urged everyone present to suggest ways to share the expertise related to this field. “I invite the global leaders of the dairy industry to join the drive to empower the dairy sector in India. I also appreciate the International Dairy Federation for their excellent work and contribution,” he added.
Union Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying Parshottam Rupala, Ministers of State L Murugan and Sanjeev Kumar Balyan, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, International Dairy Federation President P Brazzale and its Director General Caroline Emond were among those present on the occasion.
The four-day IDF WDS 2022 at India Expo Centre & Mart, Greater Noida, is a congregation of global and Indian dairy stakeholders including industry leaders, experts, farmers and policy planners centring around the theme of "Dairy for Nutrition and Livelihood".
Around 1,500 participants from 50 countries participating in IDF WDS 2022. The last such summit was held in India about half a century ago in 1974.
Multiple steps taken for the betterment of the dairy sector have resulted in an increase in milk production by more than 44% in the last eight years, an official press release said.
The success story of the Indian dairy industry, accounting for about 23% of global milk, producing around 210 million tonnes annually, and empowering more than 8 crore dairy farmers, will be showcased at the event. The summit will also help Indian dairy farmers gain exposure to global best practices.