Phillaur advocates diversification plan in dairy sector

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February 8, 2013 | NEWS | Post by: admin

Chandigarh, February 8 ( bureau): Mr. Sarwan Singh Phillaur, Animal Husbandry Minister Punjab urged the Central government to boost the agricultural, dairy and fisheries sectors in the state by adopting result oriented approach and establishing specific commodity oriented research stations. Speaking on the occasion of finalizing the National Livestock Policy draft during the Agriculture Ministers’ conclave held in New Delhi, the Minister said that as a part of diversification plan Punjab government has chalked out an extensive strategy to encourage piggery, goatery besides fisheries and dairy sectors as there was ready market for pork and mutton in northern states especially National Capital Region (NCR).
He also said that the Punjab Government would encourage the farmers to adopt animal husbandry as allied profession though our farmers had been rearing animals since long and it is a matter of pride that Punjab was contributing 10% of the total milk production against the herd size of just 2% cattle. He lamented that now the Centre was also backtracking on the MSP of paddy and in the changed Scenario, the development of dairy sector had become all the more important especially to give much needed push to the agriculture diversification program. This would not only raise the financial status of the farmers but also engage the unemployed youth of the state in lucrative business.
Quoting statistics, the Minister said that as per the latest live-stock census carried out in the State in 2007, there were 17.61 lac cattle and 50.03 lac buffaloes in the state. Out of this, the breed able cows and breed able buffaloes are 10.31 lac and 29.08 lac respectively. Punjab is a major milk producing State in the country with an annual milk production of 95.51 lac tons during the year 2011-12. It contributes about 9 % of the total milk production of the country though it has less than 2% of total cattle and buffalo population of the country. The per capita availability of milk in Punjab is 944 gms which is highest in the country. With poultry population of about 8.10 crore , its annual egg production is 3602 million eggs with per capita availability of 130 eggs which is also the highest in the country. Annual meat production is 181 thousand tons besides this state is also producing 532 thousand Kgs of wool annually. So Animal Husbandry is contributing about 13% of the state GDP. As far as fisheries is concerned, during 2011-12, 1520 lac fish seed and 97622 tons of fish was produced in the state.
Reiterating Punjab Government’s resolve in strengthening the animal husbandry sector, the Minister urged the Union government todeclare animal husbandry /livestock activities like dairy, poultry, piggery, goatry& fishery etc. at par with agriculture so that the benefits like exemption of Income Tax, interest rate, available to agriculture can also be extended to these activities. At present, RBI has issued directions to provide loan upto Rs.1.00 lac without any security such as mortgage of land etc. It should be raised upto Rs.2.00 lac per farmer, said Mr. Phillaur. He also said that in order to Upgrade Veterinary Vaccine Institute, Ludhiana as per the laid down norms funds to the tune of Rs.20.11 crores may be allocated so that the work on this project could be initiated at the earliest. Appreciating the move of the Govt. of India to extend 50% subsidy on insurance premium for two dairy animals, the Minister emphasized on the need of extending this facility to 10 animals of a farmer and subsidy for Scheduled Caste & Scheduled Tribe farmers should be enhanced to 75%. Under National Protein Supplement Mission Scheme, funds have been allocated for Dairy & Fishery sector. Therefore, for promotion of piggery and goatry sector, funds should also be allocated to Punjab State. A proposal to the tune of Rs.8.82crore has already been submitted to GOI for allocation of funds. Food safety standards with regard to liquid cow milk may be revised keeping in view the changed actual parameters of cow milk. Import of high genetic merit semen/animals of Nili Ravi buffalo and Sahiwal cows from Pakistan should be permitted for breed improvement through Wagha Border and pending cases may be cleared immediately to encourage further trade. The Minister also urged the GoI to include export of egg and chicken meat in list of items allowed for export to Pakistan by land route through ICP Wagha Border.

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