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Centre, states working jointly to stop spread of Lumpy Skin Disease: PM

Says indigenous vaccine and movement of animals being stopped to control the spread of LSD

indian government | Narendra Modi | Health crisis

Sanjeeb Mukherjee  |  New Delhi 

Narendra Modi, PM Modi
Dairy in India is produced by the masses and not mass production and India has become the world’s largest producer of milk due to the strength and efforts of these small farmers: PM Modi

Prime Minister on Monday said the Centre and state governments are working jointly to control the spread of the Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD) that has afflicted India’s .

Addressing the inaugural session of the World Dairy Congress of the International Dairy Federation (IDF), which is being held in the country after a gap of 48 years, Modi said the development of the indigenous for LSD and its quick spread across India and efforts to curb the movement of cattle from one state to another are the steps being taken to control the disease.

LSD is a contagious viral infection that affects cattle and causes fever, nodules on the skin, and can also lead to death. Over 67,000 cattle have died since July due to LSD in more than eight states, including Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab and Haryana. Currently, states are using ‘goat pox’ to control the spread of this disease.

The indigenous vaccine, called Lumpi-ProVacInd, has been developed by two institutes of agri research body ICAR. Its commercial launch is expected in the next three-four months.

Though most private milk producers have claimed that disease seems to have no big impact on milk production and the country is poised to enter the coming flush season with surplus milk in inventories, some have questioned this assessment.

PTI quoted Managing director of Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), which markets dairy products under the Amul brand, R S Sodhi as saying that there has been a marginal impact of 0.5 per cent on milk production in Gujarat, while Mother Dairy MD Manish Bandlish said, "There is a minor impact on production in the overall scheme of things."

Cooperative Minister Amit Shah, while addressing a session in the evening, said his ministry is planning to set up 200,000 new cooperatives by 2024 and three multi-state cooperative societies for organic products, in which dairy will play a big role.

Prime Minister Modi in his address said India needs a balanced ecosystem for the dairy sector, which will ensure higher income for farmers while also spreading chemical free farming practices and improving animal health. “All these are inter-linked to each other,” the PM said.

He said dairy is a big source of green and sustainable growth in rural areas. The success of India’s dairy sector, which is based on four pillars, can be a model to be replicated by other poor countries.

The four unique characteristics of the Indian dairy sector, according to the PM, are dominance of small and marginal farmers. “Dairy in India is produced by the masses and not mass production and India has become the world’s largest producer of milk due to the strength and efforts of these small farmers,” Modi said.

He said the second unique characteristic of India’s is the role of cooperatives in its growth. “In India, dairy cooperatives are present in almost 200,000 villages and nearly 20 million farmers are into the milk business through the dairy cooperatives,” Modi said.

The third unique characteristic of the Indian is the presence of a large number of indigenous breeds of cows and buffaloes, which have special properties and traits. “Most indigenous cattle breeds found in India are sturdy and strong,” Modi said.

The fourth characteristic, according to Modi, is that it is dominated by women. He said in India one-third of the milk cooperatives are controlled by women, who are a big driving force in making dairying an almost Rs 8.5 trillion business by value, which is more than the value of wheat and rice taken together.

The prime minister said the government is trying to make cow dung also a source of extra revenue for the farmers in India and in the last few years many of the almost 1,000-odd start-ups that have entered agriculture are in the dairying and milk sector.

Modi said animal disease is a big problem and the government has started a unique programme to make India free of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) and Brucellosis in the next few years.

Addressing the inaugural session, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said UP faces a big problem of abandoned and stray cattle and the state government is building cowsheds and gaushalas to house them.

A galaxy of Union ministers, including Union Home Minister Amit Shah, three chief ministers, over 1,500 delegates from 50 foreign countries, around 800 farmers and scores of CEOs from world’s leading dairy companies have gathered for the four-day International Dairy Federation’s World Dairy Summit in Noida.

The summit is being held in India at a time when the country, which is the world’s largest producer of milk and has a huge population of cattle, is facing one of the worst outbreaks of LSD, which has claimed the lives of thousands of animals and infected many more.

The mega event will give great exposure to Indian companies to global best practices in milk production that will ultimately benefit the smallholder milk production eco-system in India.

An exhibition space of over 6,900 square meter along with as many 24 sessions centred around the theme “Dairy for Nutrition and Livelihood” covering different aspects of dairying will be part of the event.

That apart, three parallel technical sessions would be held with more than 150 foreign and Indian speakers.

The technical sessions will be presided over by Union cabinet ministers.

There are about 80 million dairy farmers in India, mostly small and marginal (having at an average 2 bovines). The annual domestic production of milk in the country is estimated at 220 million tonnes.

The summit, which is an annual meeting of the global dairy sector, is a carbon-neutral event.

NDDB, which is one of the main drivers behind the event, said the summit is a great learning opportunity for dairy farmers, leaders, experts, scientists, professionals, and academics.

Indian dairy sector in numbers

  1. World’s largest diverse genetic pool of indigenous cattle and buffalo breeds — 193 mn heads of cattle and about 110 mn buffaloes
  2. Over 45% jump in milk output in last eight years
  3. Has created the largest database of around 220 million animals
  4. Milk is the biggest farm commodity in India, surpassing the combined value of cereals and pulses in terms of value of output
  5. Milk prices paid to farmers have reportedly risen sharply in past few years

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First Published: Mon, September 12 2022. 13:40 IST