During the last few days, we saw/read the opinions of many leaders about the possibility of imports of milk products on various TV channels and newspapers. Many questions arose in the minds of consumers and farmers. Will the import of milk and milk products harm the interest of farmers? Will milk prices fall? Will prices of milk and milk products increase if not imported? How higher prices will affect the customer’s monthly budget? During 2021-22, milk production was 221 million tonnes (mt). But last year it grew by only 2% to 225 million tonnes. Out of this 40% of milk is processed by milk cooperatives and private companies, 30% of milk is used by the farmers themselves, and the remaining milk is sold by the unorganized sector. The milk productivity of cows and buffaloes goes down in summer. In the last three years, the cost of milk production has increased due to the increase in feed and fodder prices. Investments in the dairy sector have also reduced post-Covid. Last year 1.89 lakh cattle died due to Lumpy skin disease. The Reserve Bank of India’s Interest Rate Setting Committee has said that rising milk prices have fueled inflation. Available data shows that retail prices have increased by 15% over the past year. Because milk and milk products are essential, even if the prices increase slightly, their consumption does not change much. How to prevent milk inflation in India? The two ways are to increase domestic productivity or to increase domestic supply through imports. According to government sources, there is a sufficient supply of milk in the country. There is also adequate stock of skimmed milk powder (SMP). Last year we exported 6000 tonnes of butter and 10000 tonnes of ghee. SMP was exported to Bangladesh due to lower freight costs. The demand for milk has increased by 8-10 percent this year. So Milk Cooperatives and private diaries will have to process more milk to meet domestic demand. India imported dairy products in 2011.
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) revised its order allowing the use of regional common names on labels of curd packets amidst a row in Tamil Nadu over the Hindi term “Dahi”. FSSAI said that food business operators can use the term “curd” along with the prevalent regional common name in brackets on the label. Accordingly, Curd can also be labeled as Dahi, Mosaru, Zaamut daud, Thayir, or Perugu.
Following the success of a pilot project to address the issue of stubble burning in association with Deloitte, the Haryana government will now expand the project to eight more districts. Deloitte India had successfully completed its pilot climate leadership project on “Crop Residue Management” (CRM), which helped reduce stubble burning incidents and manage the air pollution in Karnal district. An important element of the outreach was a multilingual mobile application “Krishi Yantra Sathi”, designed to bring all the relevant stakeholders, including local farmers, various custom hiring centers (CHC), and farmer producer organizations (FPOs). The key objective was to match the farmer’s demand for equipment to manage the crop residue with the right equipment owners, to efficiently and rapidly allocate the machinery. This application encouraged the uptake of more economical and environmentally conscious use of stubble while generating employment opportunities for local communities. One of the many causes of stubble burning is the lack of availability of stubble removal equipment like super-seeders and balers at the right time. Small and marginal farmers are the most impacted.
A Centre of Excellence for Animal Husbandry — Animal Husbandry Academy of India (CEAH) — has been set up at Hessarghatta, Bengaluru. Set up under the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying as a consortium of five organizations, CEAH-Bengaluru is spread over 642 acres and consists of the Central Poultry Development Organisation and Training Institute, Central Frozen Semen Production and Training Institute (CFSPTI) and Central Cattle Breeding Farm (CCBF), Animal Quarantine and Certification Services and Regional Fodder Station. The main objective of CEAH is to develop capacity building for training in the domain of expertise for animal husbandry officers and entrepreneurs across the country and the globe. The animal husbandry academy will focus on training veterinarians on the latest issues in technology, and soft skills along with IoT, AI, and ML among other techno-commercial aspects.