The dairy and animal husbandry sectors are again under focus in the Union budget with the Modi Government setting the ambitious target of doubling milk processing capacity to 108 million tonnes by 2025.
Dairy giant such as Amul views the target as a window of opportunity for the dairying sectors and income enhancement for the farmers.
R S Sodhi , MD of Amul, told BusinessLine that steps such as doubling milk production were also taken during Operation Flood, which had greatly helped the sector. A target-based programme will attract more organized players in the milk sector and the farmers will get a better deal. Concerted efforts at eliminating animal diseases such as Foot and Mouth and Brucellosis will also increase milk production by 10 to 15 per cent,
Coverage of artificial insemination in cattle from 30 to 70 per cent will also enhance animal breeds and further strengthen the income of the farmers. Using the MNREGS programme for developing fodder farms will increase the availability of green fodder in the villages, which will also add to the overall milk production, he said.
He added that the budget is not just positive for dairying and animal husbandry but by adding duties on imported agriculture and food products, “the government is boosting Make in Rural India initiative” he said.
CEO of Kanakdhara Agriculture Innovations, Jagadeesh Sunkad said that “strengthening of dairying and animal husbandry sector will increase cattle population, resulting in higher production of dung, which is one of the best sources of organic manure. Cattle dung will also enhance organic carbon in the soil, which is most essential for increasing the efficacy of fertilizers,” he said.
Sunkad, who has also been an agriculture consultant to multilateral banks said that higher cattle heads will also stabilize farm incomes and keep the incomes in the villages, “The budgetary announcements are very good but the devil lies in the implementation of the programmes. That needs to well planned and executed ,” he said.
He added that “just as farm and forest lands are protected, the grazing land in villages also need protection. Using the MNREGS programme for developing fodder farms will also protect these natural grasslands but also protect the environment.”