The Bharat Pashudhan App will empower dairy farmers

The Prime Minister dedicated ‘Bharat Pashudhan’ – a digital database for livestock animals in the country. Developed under the National Digital Livestock Mission (NDLM), ‘Bharat Pashudhan’ utilizes a unique 12-digit Tag ID allocated to each livestock animal. Under the project, out of an estimated 30.5 crore bovines, about 29.6 crore have already been tagged and their details are available in the database. This app will empower the farmers by providing a traceability system for the bovines and will also help in disease monitoring and control. He also launched the ‘1962 Farmers App’, which records all data and information present under the ‘Bharat Pashudhan’ database, which the farmers can utilize.

To sustain high consumer demand and ensure a good income for farmers, the focus must shift from hiking procurement prices to lowering production costs at the farm gate. Based on the most recent Household Consumption Expenditure Survey (HCES) for 2022-23, milk has become the leading food expenditure item in both rural and urban areas of India. The monthly value of milk and dairy products consumed by an average person in rural India, at Rs 314, was ahead of vegetables (Rs 203), cereals (Rs 185), etc. The HCES data reveals the same for urban India: Milk (Rs 466), fruits (Rs 246), vegetables (Rs 245) and cereals (Rs 235). The all-India average price of milk has gone up from Rs 42 to Rs 60 per litre in the last five years. Much of the increase – from Rs 52 to Rs 60 – has happened in the last one year alone. As the cost of fodder, feed, and raw materials/ingredients have increased significantly, dairies have had to hike procurement prices paid to farmers and, in turn, pass through the same to consumers.

The 50th Dairy Industry Conference was inaugurated at Hyderabad by the Deputy Chief Minister of Telangana. The conference was attended by 2500 delegates from all over India and 30 countries. With proper stimulus and encouragement, India has the potential to become the Milk Bowl of the World. Necessary steps are being initiated to mitigate the negative impact on the environment due to dairy development. Mr. R.G. Chandramohan, Hatsun Agro, was felicitated with the Life Time Achievement Award.

The British negotiators have renewed demands for India to provide tariff concessions on alcohol, automobiles, and dairy products. Meanwhile, India has stuck to its demand for greater mobility for its professionals in the UK. The UK-India FTA has been under discussion for the past 26 months.

The Maharashtra Government approved the handover of the Mahanand Dairy management to the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) for the next five years to strengthen it. Mahanand is a venture of Maharashtra State Cooperative Milk Federation Ltd (MSCMFL) and is one of the top cooperative dairies in the state. It, though, has suffered heavy losses in the recent past and hasn’t been able to sustain the brand. NDDB is expected to revitalize and empower it by adopting a commercial approach and cooperative principles.

Hilly terrains of Himachal Pradesh present many restrictions on farming activities in the state as there is lesser availability of cultivable land. Therefore, it becomes necessary for an agriculturist to adopt multiple other practices like animal husbandry, fish farming, cow rearing, poultry farming, etc. as a source of additional income to take care of oneself and family. Therefore, the State Government has come up with various initiatives and schemes to promote animal husbandry, cattle farming in particular. The government raised the Minimum Support Price (MSP) of cow and buffalo milk to Rs. 45 and Rs. 55, respectively. The step will also motivate youth to adopt animal husbandry and farming as profitable ventures. The Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee will not levy a ‘Mandi Fee’ on milk production societies like Milkfed, Kamdhenu Hitkari Manch, and others, beginning 1st April 2024. The government has also launched the ‘Him Ganga’ scheme for the welfare of milk producers. It is decided to provide 200 refrigerated milk vans at a 50 percent subsidy to the local youth to transport milk to the processing plants or collection centers. This would allay the rising concern regarding the migration of the youth from villages to urban areas in search of employment.

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