Hon'ble Minister of Agriculture Sh. Sharad Pawar's Speech at Conference of State Ministers of Animal Husbandry, Dairying

SPEECH OF SHRI SHARAD PAWAR, UNION MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE AND CONSUMERS AFFAIRS, FOOD AND PUBLIC DISTRIBUTION AT THE CONFERENCE OF STATE MINISTERS OF ANIMAL HUSBANDRY, DAIRYING ON 20th JANUARY 2010 AT PUSA, NEW DELHI

My colleague in the Ministry, Prof. K. V. Thomas, State Ministers in charge of Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Shri Rudhra Gangadharan, Secretary, Animal Husbandry, Dairying & Fisheries, Shri.T.Nanda Kumar, Secretary, Department of Agriculture & Cooperation, Shri.L.Rynjah, Principal Adviser, Planning Commission, Dr. Ayyappan, Secretary, Department of Agriculture Research and Education, Dr. Amrita Patel, Chairman, NDDB, senior officers of Central and State Governments, distinguished participants and representatives of media.

  1. It is now well-accepted that the Animal Husbandry and Dairying sectors play an important role in the national economy, significantly supplement family income, and generate gainful employment. The value of output from the Livestock sector at current prices during 2007-08 was about 29% of the total value of output of Agriculture & Allied Sectors. Two-thirds of this was contributed by the milk sector alone. A target of 6-7% growth per annum for the Livestock sector with milk group growing at a rate of 5% has been set during the 11th Five year plan.
  2. The Central Government has substantially increased the outlay for the Department from Rs.2,500 crore in 10th plan to Rs.8,174 crore during 11th plan. We have urged the states to provide adequate funds for this sector in order to qualify for a higher allocation under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana.
  3. Since Animal Husbandry is a state subject, the Central Government can only play the role of facilitator; it is for states to recognize its importance and work out strategies and programmes to tap the huge potential in this sector.
  4. I wish to highlight a number of major issues for your consideration today. The demand for milk has been projected at 166 million tonnes by year the 2020 and about 180 million tonnes by 2021-22. This demands an average incremental increase in milk production of 5 million tonnes per year, as against the average annual increase of 3.2 million tonnes during the last 15 years. This is no easy task. We must strengthen our infrastructure so that the country can produce enough milk to meet this demand. We are working on a strategic document called the National Dairy Plan with a proposed outlay of Rs. 17,371 crore to improve bovine productivity and substantially increase milk production. The strategy involves increasing the genetic potential of bovines, producing the required number of quality bulls, producing superior quality frozen semen and adopting adequate bio security measures. The country lacks comprehensive legislation to regulate bovine breeding, AI delivery and related matters. We seek your cooperation in drafting a Bovine Breeding Bill at the earliest. I also request State Governments to revisit their notifications that have included AI services in the list of Minor Veterinary Services to be provided by registered veterinarians.
  5. Bovine productivity cannot be enhanced only by increasing the genetic potential of bovines. It is equally necessary to improve animal nutrition so that our livestock can produce milk commensurate to their genetic potential. We lack adequate feed and fodder. The impact of climate change is likely to aggravate the shortage of feed resources. It is therefore necessary to improve the efficiency of utilisation of existing feed resources through field-tested technologies.
  6. However, there are two key constraints in preparing an effective plan for fodder production; firstly the absence of annual and reliable data on the area under green fodder and the crop-wise quantity of fodder seed and green fodder produced; and secondly the lack of a mechanism to estimate the annual requirements of fodder seed and make plans for its production and distribution to farmers. The Central and State Departments of Agriculture must work out a coordinated strategy for fodder seeds and fodder crops, as in the case of food crops
  7. Another important issue is the need to increase the area being sown with improved varieties of fodder seeds from the current level of 5% to around 15% within the next 15 years. Focus on research and development of fodder seeds to improve their yield and also on the impact of climate change are areas that require urgent attention.
  8. We have circulated the final draft of the Cattle Feed (Regulation of Manufacture and Sale) Order, 2009, framed under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955, to all states for their comments. I hope this can be finalized in the course of this conference.    ;
  9. Another important area is livestock health. The Prevention and Control of Infectious and Contagious Diseases in Animals Act, 2009, has some significant provisions to control animal diseases. The States may identify 'free zones' based on potential of milk and meat production, the native tracts of different breeds of cattle and buffaloes, and with reference to natural barriers like hills and rivers. We have formulated draft Rules to enforce the Act. A copy of the draft is in the agenda, and I hope this can be finalized during this conference.
  10. With these words I declare the conference open. I hope our decisions today will lay the foundation for our country to emerge as a leader in the world dairy sector.

Thank you.