Workshop on quality milk programme held at Pusa in New Delhi

Since independence, farmers have continuously been neglected by various governments but Prime Minister Narendra Modi led government has ensured farmers get their due importance and respect, mentioned the union minister, Giriraj Singh

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New Delhi: The Union Minister for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Giriraj Singh recently asserted that agriculture along with livestock is the way forward for realising Prime Minister’s vision of doubling farmers’ income as income from crop production is seasonal, whereas dairying provides year-round income and generates gainful employment in the rural sector. Mr Singh was speaking at a workshop on Quality Milk Programme organized by his ministry at Pusa in New Delhi.

About 80 million rural households are engaged in milk production with a very high proportion being landless, small and marginal farmers. The Minister emphasised that while India is the largest milk producer in the world a lot of attention needs to be paid to the quality aspect by the milk unions. The Minister urged the FSSAI and BIS to be strict about milk adulteration and exhorted the milk unions not to buy adulterated milk. Milk Unions should keep in mind the welfare of farmers and pay attention to feed and fodder and infrastructure for quality clean milk.

The Minister expressed happiness that the Milk production in the country and during the last four years India’s milk production has grown by 6.4% annually which is much higher than the growth in the World’s milk production where the growth rate remained at 1.7%. Department of Animal Husbandry has approved strengthening of dairy laboratories of 313 dairy plants under the National Programme for Dairy Development (NPDD) for detecting adulteration in milk. In the first phase, a central laboratory has been approved for cooperative level for 18 states. Village level co-operative societies will also be considered for facilitating the testing of contaminants in the next phases of the scheme to create trust among the farmers as well as to create consumer confidence.

Strengthening laboratories in dairy plants will help in ensuring the consumption of safe milk and to promote export. India exports only 0.01% of the world dairy export market. The strengthening of laboratories at dairy plants will help in ensuring safe milk consumption and also in creating a reasonable database on various contaminants and milk constituents to defend India’s position in international forums like VWWTO and CODE to promote exports.

Several efforts has been made under Rashtriya Gokul Mission to enhance milk production and productivity of bovines, including promotion of embryo transfer technology, creation of facility for sex sorted semen production and genomic selection. These measures will definitely increase productivity of Indian dairy animals which is at present only 1806 kg per animal per year against the world average of 2310 kg/animal/ year. To ensure quality of milk and milk products, Government of India is implementing various dairy development schemes that provide for strengthening of quality milk infrastructure from farm level like dairy cooperative societies to processing plants at District/State level.

The Department aims to introduce a single standard in the country for Milk and Milk products and also for process certification to help consumers in decision making for purchasing of dairy products. To create a single norm for process certification of hygienic standards at the level of farm, processing plant and marketing of milk & milk products. After harmonization of products certification takes place, the Quality Mark logo shall be used in conjunction with ISI mark for Milk & Milk products sold by Co-operatives as well as Private Dairies.

To protect the milk from curdling, 4.530 bulk milk coolers and 35,436 automatic milk collection units have been provided. Department has already given approval for Bulk Milk Cooler, Dairy Processing Plant and Cooling Plant etc. to increase the quality of milk and milk products through Dairy Co-operatives. Under DIDF, 26 projects in 7 states amounting to Rs 3681.46 crore have been sanctioned. This will help in improving processing system for manufacturing of milk and milk products with improved quality.