Stressing the use of modern technology, the Prime Minister said that India is 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 Aadhaar”, he said.
Inaugurating the International Dairy Federation World Dairy Summit (IDF WDS) 2022 on Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “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 said.
The Prime Minister underlined the centrality of ‘Pashu Dhan’ and milk-related business in the cultural landscape of India, saying that this has given India’s dairy sector many unique characteristics. He pointed out that unlike other developed countries, the driving force of India’s dairy sector are small farmers.
Explaining the second unique characteristic of the Indian dairy system, the Prime Minister iterated the huge network of dairy cooperative in India, saying that these dairy 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. India’s dairy sector is characterized by “production by masses” more than “mass production”. One cannot find such an example in the whole world elsewhere.
He said that there is no middleman in the entire process, and more than 70 per cent of the money that is received from the customers goes directly into the pockets of the farmers. “No other country has this ratio in the whole world”.
As another unique characteristic, the Prime Minister highlighted the power of women in the dairy sector, pointing out that women have a 70 per cent representation in the workforce in India’s dairy sector. “Women are the real leaders of India’s dairy sector”, he added, “Not only this, more than a third of the members of dairy cooperatives in India are women.” He said at more than 8.5 lakh crore rupees, the dairy sector is more than the combined value of wheat and rice – and that this is all driven by the women power of India.
Modi underlined that 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 per cent”, he pointed out. He also mentioned that as compared to the two per cent production growth at the global level, India is clocking the milk production growth rate at more than six per cent.
The Prime Minister said that the government is 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 stressed that animal husbandry and dairy are being promoted as a powerful medium of green and sustainable growth in the villages. Schemes like Rashtriya Gokul Mission, Goberdhan Yojna, Digitization of dairy sector and universal vaccination of cattle along with steps like banning single-use plastic, are steps in that direction.
Stressing the use of modern technology, Prime Minister Modi spoke of work being under way to build the largest database of dairy animals and tagging every animal associated with the dairy sector. “We are doing biometric identification of animals. We have named it – Pashu Aadhaar”, he said.
Modi also stressed the growing entrepreneurial structures and said that the sector has seen more than 1,000 start-ups in recent times. He also talked about the strides in Gobardhan Yojna and said that aim is to reach a situation where dairy plants produce their own electricity from Gobar. The resulting manure will help the farmers also.
Drawing an analogy to farming, the Prime Minister said that animal husbandry and farming require diversity, and monoculture might not be the only solution. he stressed that today, India is paying equal attention to both indigenous breeds and hybrid breeds. He further elaborated that it will also reduce the risk of damage caused by climate change.
Prime Minister Modi said that a major problem affecting the income of farmers is animal diseases. “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”, he said, adding that that India is working toward universal vaccination of animals.
“We have resolved that by 2025, we will vaccinate 100 per cent 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”, the Prime Minister remarked.
He reiterated that India is 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, he said.