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Dairy Provides Livelihood to 60 million Indian Farmers.

In India, 60 million rural households depend upon dairy sector and out of this, two third are small, marginal and landless labourers, says Shri Radha Mohan Singh, Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister. Rs. 582.09 crore have been allocated for 35 proposals under the National Gokul Mission.

India is a global leader amongst dairying nations and during 2015-16 160.35 million tonnes of milk is produced. The dairy cooperatives of the country have the singular distinction of providing seventy five percent of their sales, on an average, to the farmers. As many as 75 million women are engaged in the sector as against 15 million men. In livestock development activities, there is an increasing trend towards participation of women. This has led to empowerment of women-headed households in the rural communities.

India with 30 crore bovines has 18% of the world's bovine population. Today India have 39 breeds of cattle. Cattle Genetic Resources have been evolved by the farmers/cattle rearers/breeders using traditional and scientific knowledge.

Shri Singh informed that indigenous breeds are robust and resilient and are particularly suited to the climate and environment of their respective breeding tracts. They are endowed with qualities of heat tolerance, resistance to diseases and the ability to thrive under extreme climates and low plane of nutrition.

Studies of impact of Climate Change and effect of temperature rise on milk production of dairy animals indicates that temperature rise due to global warming will negatively impact milk production, says Shri Singh. In order to develop heat tolerant and disease resistant stock countries including United States of America, Brazil and Australia have imported Indian indigenous breeds.

Shri Singh also stated that the indigenous breeds of cows are known to produce A2 type protein rich milk which protects us from various chronic health problems such as Cardio Vascular Diseases, Diabetes and neurological disorders besides providing several other health benefits.

Minister informed that for marketing of A2A2 rich Milk of our indigenous breedshouse that Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries has sanctioned Rs. 2 cr each to Odisha and Karnataka. For production of frozen semen, 65 high genetic merit disease free bulls have been inducted at semen stations. Bull production programme of indigenous breeds for natural service have been inducted by the States of Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Gujarat.

For the first time in the country, Rastriya Gokul Mission has been initiated under National Programme for Bovine Breeding and Dairy Development to take up development and conservation of indigenous breeds in a focused and scientific manner. Under this Scheme 35 projects with an allocation of Rs. 582.09 cr has been sanctioned.

Source: http://www.business-standard.com/