Since the first World Milk Day was held in 2001, many countries spread throughout the world have participated in the celebrations and the number is growing each year.
Why hold a World Milk Day? The Day provides an opportunity to focus attention on milk and to publicise activities connected with milk and the milk industry. The fact that many countries choose to do this on the same day lends additional importance to individual national celebrations and shows that milk is a global food.
Where did it begin? FAO (the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations) was asked to propose a specific day on which all aspects of milk could be celebrated.
Why 1st June? This date was chosen because a number of countries were already celebrating a national milk day on or around this time. Late May was originally proposed, but some countries, for example China, felt they already had too many celebrations in that month. While most countries hold their celebrations on 1st June, some choose to hold them a week or so before or after this date.
Union Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Minister Shri Radha Mohan Singh during World Milk Day Celebration at Pusa, New Delhi stated that it is a matter of pride that our country has been leading the world in milk production and all this is due to the hard work of our farmers. In comparison to 2010-14 milk production in the country has increased by 23.69 percent during the period 2014-18 (taking projected figures of milk production for 2017-18). Annual increase in milk production is 6.3 percent during the period 2014-18 while annual increase in milk production during the period 2010-14 was 4 percent .
Union Agriculture Minister mentioned that considering the commitment of the Hon’ble Prime Minister to double farmers’ income by 75th anniversary of Independence i.e. in 2022, the Department is implementing various government schemes. Productivity is one of the biggest challenge for our country and in this direction, efforts are being made to increase milk production by raising productivity of our milch animals.
Shri Singh further stated that during the last four years under Rashtriya Gokul Mission 20 Gokul Grams have been sanctioned and out of this 3 have been completed and work is under progress at remaining 17 gokul grams. Two National Kamdhenu Breeding Centres one in southern India in Andhra Pradesh at Chintaladevi and other in northern India in Madhya Pradesh at Itarsi are being established. Work at AP has been completed and work is under progress at Itarsi MP.
Union Agriculture Minister mentioned that as on date 1831 bulls have been produced and out of this 1752 bulls have been inducted at semen stations. Similarly 26 semen stations have been strengthened and their semen production capacity has increased to 150 million doses per annum. In order to enhance productivity using semen of elite bulls 5046 AI technicians (MAITRIs) have been trained and established in villages.
He also mentioned that 9 crore milch animals are being identified by UID for which suitable funds have already been released by the Central Government. There is also a provision of providing Nakul Swasthaya Patra to the animals under the scheme. So far one Crore animals have already been identified till date.
Under advanced reproductive techniques, 20 Embryo Transfer centres are being established against which proposals for 18 centres have been approved. 10 semen centres have been identified for production of Sex Sorted Semen. Two proposals have been sanctioned. With this more female animals would be produced that would help in raising milk production farmers income.
He also informed E Pashu Haat Portal has been developed and a till date on e pashu haat portal total of 7.63 Crore Semen doses has been produced, 5.57 Crore semen doses have been sold and information about 80,059 Live Animals is available on the portal.
Dairy Entrepreneurship Development Scheme has a provision to provide financial assistance for generating self-employment opportunities in various activities. Under the scheme, 3,30,125 dairy units have been set up so far for which Rs. 1338.31 crore subsidy has been provided by the Government of India. It has benefited about 6.60 lakh beneficiaries.
Shri Singh stated that from current year “Dairy Processing and Infrastructure Development Fund (DIDF)” with a total outlay of Rs.10881 Crore where Cooperatives will be provided loans at 6.5% annual interest to be repaid within a period of 10 years has been launched. Government of India has made a provision of offering interest subsidy. This scheme targets to benefit 95 lakh milk producers through coverage of 50000 villages. Many skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled workers would get direct or indirect employment opportunity under the scheme. Under this scheme, additional milk processing capacity of 126 lakh litres per day with 210 tonnes milk drying capacity per day and 140 lakh litres of milk chilling capacity per day will be created by establishment of bulk milk coolers. The scheme also has a provision for 28000 electronic milk adulteration testing equipment and the facilities to convert 60 lakh liters of milk per day into value-added milk products. So far during current year, 10 projects of Rs. 1148 crore have been approved.