Lt Governor Girish Chandra Murmu on Wednesday chaired a high-level meeting to discuss the roadmap for doubling the milk production within the next four years.
The meeting was attended by Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar, Advisor to Lt Governor; Atul Chaturvedi, Secretary, Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairy, Government of India; B.V.R Subrahmanyam, Chief Secretary, J&K; Arun Kumar Mehta, Financial Commissioner, Finance Department; Dr Asgar Hassan Samoon, Principal Secretary to Government, Animal and Sheep Husbandry Department; Mihir Kumar Singh, Joint Secretary, C&DD, Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying, Government of India; Abdul Majid Bhat, Commissioner/Secretary to Government, Cooperative Department; Sh. Rajesh Kumar Chhibber, Chairman J&K Bank; R.S Sodhi, Managing Director, GCMMF, Anand, Gujrat; Director, Animal Husbandry, Jammu; Director Animal Husbandry, Kashmir; Mission Director, Dairy development Mission; besides senior officers from National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), NABARD & Animal Husbandry Department.
In the meeting, it was informed that J&K produces 70 Lac Litres milk daily out of which, about 2.5 lac Litres milk is processed by cooperatives and private companies. Further, 177.66 Thousand Metric Tons of milk and milk products worth Rs 962.92 crores are imported annually.
The department has achieved 29% Artificial Insemination and targets to achieve 70% in the next two years and is aiming to promote dairy farming as a commercial activity with a focus to generate huge employment.
Atul Chaturvedi, Secretary, Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairy, Government of India briefed the meeting that 100 % central assistance is being provided to the farmers at doorsteps by Government of India for Artificial Insemination (AI) Programme and there is a target of vaccinating 53 crore animals twice in a year. He further informed that the Government of India is working on a three-pronged strategy to double the milk production and Dairy farmers’ income by ensuring disease-free animals, breed improvement, and input cost reduction.
The Lt Governor directed the concerned officers to prepare a comprehensive database for covering all the cattle under vaccination and improve the AI percentage to ensure increase in the number of high-quality Cross Bred animals, asserting that dairy Development Sector has very high potential and can have massive contribution in the socio-economic transformation of farming community, especially the marginalized, and even landless people. He urged them to adopt a pro-active approach for achieving the targets and derive maximum benefits of the Government of India schemes.
A threadbare discussion was held to work out a result-oriented strategy aimed at plugging the gaps and improving the milk production & supply in the UT. Various aspects including Backward and Forward linkages, input cost reduction, multi-agency coordination, capacity building etc. were discussed for arriving at the desired outcomes.
For reaching out to the rural areas, he advised the concerned to adopt the Cluster approach and develop Milk Collection Centres at the lowest possible level like Blocks and Panchayats. He exhorted the officers to promote Self Help Groups and Dairy Cooperatives and aware the masses about the economic prospects of the lucrative dairy sector.