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Govt to fast-track dairy scheme to boost milk production

Sharad Pawar emphasized the importance of assisting rural farmers in gaining greater access to organized markets

Sharad PawarNew Delhi: With milk consumption likely to touch 180 million tonnes by 2022, the government today said it will fast-track the National Dairy Plan in the coming years to boost milk production for meeting the growing demand.

Milk demand at present is 130 million tonnes. The phase I of the National Dairy Plan (NDP) was launched with an expected investment of Rs 2,242 crore in April 2012 to focus on improving milch animal productivity and raise milk output through scientific approach.

“With growing incomes, the demand for milk is increasing rapidly in the country. Emerging trends indicate that milk demand is likely to be 150 million tonnes at the end of 12th five year plan and more than 180 million tonnes by the end of 13th plan,” Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said in a meeting of the Consultative Committee of Parliament members.

“To meet this demand, the incremental annual production of milk must grow at a rate of 6 million tonnes per year over the next 10 years,” he said in a statement.

He emphasized the need to increase significantly the productivity of milch cattle to meet the growing demand under the NDP, which is implemented through the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) in 14 states.

Noting that projects approval and implementation under the NDP have gained momentum from this fiscal, Pawar said, “So far 117 sub projects from 14 states have been approved with a total outlay of Rs 786 crore.”

“Under Project Management and learning 8 projects with a total outlay of Rs 18 crore have been approved.” As a part of scientific approach, the program implementation under NDP requires an enabling policy environment by state governments.

“Although the compliance of key policy measures by the state governments took some time in procedural formalities during the first year of program implementation, the speed of project approval and implementation has gained momentum during current financial year,” Pawar said.

The Minister also informed the committee that access to good quality milk as a source of nutrition, especially for children and women, could be ensured by higher levels of milk production.

“Furthermore, it is essential to assist rural farmers in gaining greater access to organized markets,” he added. The Indian dairy sector, which engages around 7 crore households, mainly women from the families of small and marginal farmers, grew at 4.2 per cent last decade.


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