India suffers a loss of Rs 20,000 crore per year due to the adverse effect of diseases infecting livestock, according to the government.
Diseases like foot and mouth disease (FMD) affect export potential of the livestock industry as result of trade barriers that prevent export of livestock and their products to countries free from diseases, an official statement said.
The Centre is committed to ridding the livestock population of the country with the help of research and lab facility, Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said while laying the foundation stone for International Centre for Foot and Mouth Diseases at Jatni near Bhubaneswar on Sunday.
Meanwhile, the minister also announced plans to provide 100 per cent assistance for modernisation of fish harbours and to formulate a national policy on welfare of fishermen.
"I would like to announce that henceforth NDFB (National Fisheries Development Board) would provide 100 per cent assistance for modernisation of facilities at important fish harbours and landing centres," Pawar said at the state fisheries ministers meet.
Delivering the valedictory address at the two-day national conference, Pawar said, "This will also address the issue of competitiveness of our exports and meeting the standards of importing countries."
Mooting a national policy on welfare of fishermen to enhance production and productivity to achieve the target of ten million tonnes by 2012, he said he has directed the Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) to carry out a comprehensive study and survey of the socio-economic condition of fishermen to obtain reliable data for the purpose.
He expressed concern over fishermen's poor-socio-economic condition.