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Experts call for changes in dairy sector

punjab Updated: Jan 16, 2015 15:19 IST

A meeting of Australian experts and Progressive Dairy Farmers Association (PDFA) on dairy and veterinary science was organised at a city hotel on Wednesday.

All 25 members of the delegation said the meeting aimed to fortify business and trade links between the two nations. The Australian experts shared their knowledge of the field and gave suggestions to the farmers present.

The purpose of the meeting was to unfold as how experts from Australia who hold expertise in these fields can help the state farmers in general and those associated with the PDFA in terms of latest research, education and technology associated with dairy and veterinary science.

“Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Australia proved very fruitful and galvanising for Australia which encouraged our Minister of Trade Andrew Robb to come to India with his delegation to mark a business week which commenced on January 12 and will culminate on January 16,” said Australian Trade Commissioner’s senior trade and investment commissioner for South Asia Nicola Watkinson.

“We need to come up with a lot of innovation in the dairy sector. If we do a survey, not all the farmers associated with dairy are that creative. In order to survive, they must make their dairy farm commercial. Secondly, one must be aware of giving right care to their animals and here, state universities should play a vital role,” said Ranjan Sharma, a product development specialist who is settled in Australia since last many years.

While another dairy expert, an Indian by origin, Jagvinder Virk said, “There must be as many exhibitions on dairy and veterinary science which can flood farmers with a lot of information. Australia also offers opportunities for dairy farmers if they are ready to prove their efficiency.”

Mary, who is associated with research and development, said, “Other than developing new products, we need to focus on farmers’ training.”

John Steinfort, a veterinary expert, said, “Not all countries restore to keep their animals tagged in order to keep any confusion on identifications. In New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the US, dairy farms and dairy farmers are very particular about attaching a tag to the animal that carries animals’ number or name. It not only kills confusion in identifying animals, but also makes it easier to maintain records of animals.”

President of the PDFA Daljit Singh said, “Such platforms help to explore many new avenues and ideas. The PDFA has been working relentlessly for uplift of the dairy farmers in Punjab. We have a keen focus on exploring associations with international partners.”

“This helps to make way for innovative technologies and best practices in the Indian dairy system. It is our immense pleasure to learn about the new technologies in the dairy industry from the Australian dairy industry and we are keen to adopt innovative technologies for benefit of our farmers,” he added.

It is pertinent to mention here that the delegation, along with the members of PDFA, visited many dairy farms associated with the PDFA and will be covering other areas of India, including Chandigarh, Pune, Ahmadabad and Mumbai.

Watkinson lauded the PDFA president for forming the association as according to him and his team, farmers associations could go a long way to help the farmer members in many ways. “More and more such associations at various levels must come up,” he added. Minister of Trade Andrew Robb could not attend the meeting due to his prior appointment.