February 21, 2009 4:01:12 am
The Banaskantha District Co-operative Union Ltd has achieved a milestone by procuring 22.5 lakh litre milk per day in December,2008,which according to the National Dairy Development Board statistics is the highest in the country.
The NDDB chairperson,Amrita Patel,revealed this while speaking at a convocation event of Sardar Krushinagar Dantiwada Agricultural University. Patel said,”Seventy per cent of the cost of milk production is accounted by feed. It is essential,therefore,that much greater focus is given over feed and fodder by agriculture universities and research centres to meet the ambitious targets of milk production.”
The projected demand for milk from domestic sources will be 180 MMT by 2021-22,which implies a four per cent annual growth during the period. However,in absolute terms the incremental annual production of 2.5 MMT will have to rise to 5 MMT. “It is expected that north Gujarat will make a major contribution towards this,” she said.
According to NDDB,the biggest challenge in achieving the ambitious growth target for milk production is manpower trained and committed professionals who are willing to work for and engage with farmers and farmer institutions. “For this,” Patel suggested,”veterinary colleges should in their curriculum include management aspects which enable graduates to manage farms and various programmes in the field.” She said,”Veterinarians and agriculture graduates need to be encouraged to become entrepreneurs and innovators.”
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She also said that Banaskantha Union along with NDDB has put in place a Kankrej breed improvement programme to provide farmers with superior quality semen so that the breed can continue to be improved.
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