Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Thursday underlined the need for farmers to make a shift from the traditional agriculture to dairy farming.

Reviewing the National Dairy Plan (NDP) in a meeting with the Managing Director of National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) Dilip Rath here on Thursday, Badal said that it was the need of the hour for farmers to switch over from the wheat-paddy rotation to dairy farming as conventional farming is no longer remunerative to farmers.

Taking part in the deliberations, Rath apprised the Chief Minister that the basic objective of the NDP was to enhance the productivity of milch animals’ thereby increasing milk production.

He said that the project was aimed at covering about 2.7 million milch animals in 40,000 villages spread in 14 major milk producing states including Punjab, which contributes 90 percent of country's milk production.

Rath said the NDP Phase-I would be implemented with a total investment of about Rs 2,242 crore comprising Rs 584 crore as international development association credit, Rs 171 crore as Centre's share, Rs 282 crore as share of End Implementing Agencies (EIA) participating in the states and Rs 200 crore by NDDB and its subsidiaries.

In case of Punjab, EIAs would be Punjab livestock Development Board, Punjab Dairy Development Board, Milkfed, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary & Animal Sciences University Ludhiana and Punjab Agricultural University Ludhiana.

Referring to pattern of funding, Rath informed 100 percent grant-i-aid for nutrition and breeding activities, 25 percent of project cost of capital expenditure in case of new semen stations would be shared by EIA, 50 per cent of the project cost in case of village milk will be shared by EIA.

Badal asked the animal husbandry department to work out their proposals in conformity with the NDP for upgradation of its entire network of milk and cattle feed plants run by Milkfed.

Badal underlined the need for considerably improving the quality of cows and buffalos bread to increase the milk production in the state through artificial insemination procedures.

The Chief Minister also mentioned that the state government would soon notify its new animal breeding policy.

He pointed out that the milk production of buffalos has drastically reduced as compared to 'Neeli' and 'Murrah' breeds that gave milk on an average of 20 to 22 litres.

(Agencies)

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