The National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) has initiated a plan to boost dairy farming in Punjab under the national dairy plan (NDP) programme, targeting 40,000 villages in 14 major milk producing states, including Punjab.
Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Thursday held a meeting with NDDB managing director Dilip Rath, reviewing the implementation of NDP projects and emphasising that the state needed to diversify from traditional agriculture to dairy farming on a large scale.
The chief minister, extending all support to the NDDB for its initiative in Punjab, said such projects were the need of the hour to uplift farmers' economy, especially small and marginal farmers, for whom conventional wheat-paddy sowing was no more remunerative.
Rath informed the chief minister that the basic objective of the NDP was to enhance productivity of milch animals, thereby increasing milk production, besides providing rural milk producers with greater access to organise the milk processing sector.
He said the project was aimed at covering about 2.7 million milch animals in 14 states.
Rath stated that the NDP Phase 1 would be implemented with a total investment of Rs 2,242 crore, including Rs 584 crore as international development association credit, Rs 171 crore central share, Rs 282 crore the share of the end implementing agencies (EIA) participating in states, and Rs 200 crore by the NDDB and its subsidiaries.
In the case of Punjab, the EIAs would be the Punjab Livestock Development Board, Punjab Dairy Development Board, Milkfed, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (Ludhiana), and Punjab Agricultural University (Ludhiana).
Badal asked state animal husbandry officials to work out the project proposals under the NDP at the earliest so that the projects could be initiated in a timely manner.