In a major boost to women empowerment, the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) has planned to register 6 lakh women as members in dairy cooperative societies across the country.
NDDB chairperson T Nanda Kumar, who was at National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI) here on Friday told Hindustan Times that under the national dairy plan, there was a special emphasis on the participation of women in the dairy sector.
“We have a plan to rope in 1.2 million (12 lakh) dairy farmers with various cooperatives and half of them would be women. We will ensure that the participation is not limited to the database but milk produced at their dairies actually reaches at the dairy cooperatives. It will help meet future providing milk requirement,” said Kumar, who was here to chair a seminar ‘Dairy sector: The key player for nutritional security in India’.
The two-event is being organised by the NDRI Graduates Association.
He said around 85% of rural women were engaged in the livestock rearing and agriculture-related activities.
“In villages, it is women who care for, feed and milk the animals. However, in most instances, their contribution never gets highlighted. Raising their participation is essential to the long-term strength of the dairy cooperative movement,” he said.
Kumar said a planned dairy sector had a potential for poverty alleviation and ensuring nutrition by producing safe milk.
“However, sustainability of the growth of this sector is very important. Besides, we have to look very cautiously about breeding policy, animal health care and feed and fodder availability for animals,” he said.
Kumar said to sustain the Indian dairy sector there was a need to identify and promote best quality germplasm of exotic and indigenous breeds of milch animals and NDDB was working successfully in this direction.
However, the hilly regions of the country, including the eastern states, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and central India were still untouched by the White Revolution.
“Owing to their traditions, societies in these regions were never into large scale dairying. But we are planning to rope them in the commercial dairying,” he said.
A large Indian population has serious issues of malnutrition and an organised dairy sector has an important role towards the nutritional security.
According to the NDRI,around 6,000 children die annually due to malnutrition or lack of micronutrients in diet and 80% women of reproductive age are suffering from anaemia.
He said under the ongoing rs2,200 crore national dairy plan, several chilling plants would be established to increase the shellfire of milk with full check on its quality.
“There is a need to develop new milk products, which has a huge market.Institutes like the NDRI have an important role to play to look for improvement in processing technology, quality assurance system, etc,” he said.
NDDB chairman T Nanda Kumar presented the award of excellence to former director BN Mathur and Jagjit Singh Pujrath for their significant contributions in dairying in India.