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Global milk producers offer technology support to India

delhi Updated: Aug 30, 2011 20:02 IST

As India's milk production falls 20 million tonnes short of the demand, leading global dairy players on Tuesday offered to help the country increase its output.

At a global dairy conference here, representatives from US, Canada, New Zealand, France and Ireland narrated their success stories in dairy farming and offered to help India boost its milk output.

"India's milk production was 140 million tonnes in 2010, whereas the domestic demand was 160 million tonnes, hence the demand-supply gap was 20 million tonnes," said Sanjay Bhoosreddy, Joint Secretary in the Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries.

The country would require 180 million tonnes of milk by 2020 to meet its domestic demands, he added.

"The dairy sector needs to grow at six per cent per annum to attain the target as against around four per cent annually at present," Bhoosreddy said and stressed upon the need to step up research and development (R&D) in the sector.

"We need to map India with the priorities and issues in the areas where dairy development has not yet started," Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Sudip Bandopadhyaya said in his inaugural address.

The day-long conference on dairy development in India was organised by industry chamber Confederation of Indian Industries (CII).

Cherie L Bayer Director of Development American Jersey Cattle Association said her country improved its milk output from 117 million billion pounds (about 58.5 billion kg) in 1944 to 186 billion pounds (around 93 billion kg) in 2007.

This was due to greater genetic capacity for production, better nutrition and improved cow health, she added.

New Zealand's Trade Commissioner in India Cliff Fuller offered partnership with India in the dairy sector.

Ireland's Ambassador to India Kenneth Thompson said that India will have to open its doors to foreign inputs on technology to meet the demands of a growing population.

JeevMantra CEO Michele Janezic, while sharing France's experience with dairying, said that milk productivity could be enhanced by paying attention to breeding policy, hygiene, fodder and genetic selection.

She said her organisation in partnership Danone Ecosystem Trust would be conducting a survey to devise a model farm approach to help Indian farmers in increasing dairy output.

Canadian High Commissions Counsellor (Agriculture and Food) Sudha Kshatriya said that her country is already exporting bovine embryos to India and they want to extend this cooperation further.