New Delhi: Reeling under the sky-rocketing rates of food products, the masses are forced to burn a hole in their pocket to manage the increased rates of milk which is an inextricable of one’s life. However, the Centre seems unfazed by the issue and has termed it as a routine process.

Union Agriculture Minister, Sharad Pawar said, “The increasing input cost has led to rise in milk prices, therefore it is not a matter of much concern.” However, he clearly refused importing milk to fulfill the increasing demand.

Talking to the reporters, after addressing the National Conference of State Ministers of Animal Husbandry and Dairying, he said, “The country is producing sufficient milk, hence there is no need of importing milk. There is a dire need of increasing fodder and milk processing on a large scale to improve milk supply.”

He informed, the government has kicked off a national level programme to boost up the dairy industry in the country.

Pawar said, “There has been a tremendous increase in the demand of milk in the country. For this, there is an extreme need of cooperation by the animal breeders.”

He added, “Our priority must be propagating scientific researches to the lowest level of farmers.”

Speaking on the occasion of awarding the farmers for outstanding achievement in milk production, he said, “The first phase of the National Dairy Plan will be launched within the current financial year. The plan will have financial assistance of Rs 1,584 crore from the World Bank. It will help increase the productivity of milch animals through basic facilities of scientific breeding and feeding and expansion of the infrastructure for milk procurement.”

In reference to the huge loss incurred due to disease inflicted animals, he said, efforts will be made to reduce the problem. He added, the consumption of other animal products like fish and eggs has also grown many fold along with milk.

Pawar also appreciated the women’s participation in animal breeding as there were 8 females among those awarded by the Minister.

JPN/Bureau