Ignorance hampering dairy farming in K'taka: NDDB ex-chief

Ignorance hampering dairy farming in K'taka: NDDB ex-chief

Karnataka is the second largest milk producer in India after Gujarat.

Still, it lacks awareness and knowledge about maintaining livestock feeding and local species, said Dr Amrita Patel, former chairperson, National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), Anand.

Speaking to Deccan Herald on the sidelines of the inauguration of the three-day Global Animal Nutrition Conference on the theme ‘Climate Resilient Livestock Feeding Systems for Global Food Security’ here on Sunday, she said: “There is a need for change of mindset among farmers and the government of Karnataka. There is an increased rearing of hybrid and exotic livestock and their crossbreeding. Many unfruitful discussions have been held in the past.”

She added, Karnataka is already facing water scarcity. With increase in rearing of exotic species, dependence on water directly and indirectly increases, which will have an impact in the long run.

Backbone of agriculture

There is also a dearth of quantitative nutritious fodder supply to livestock in India, which hampers milk production.

Conducive weather, good quantity and quality of water and informed women are the backbone of agriculture and livestock maintenance in most rural areas, which researchers should keep in mind.

Goa Governor Bharat Vir Wanchoo said that 10,000 litres of milk from Karnataka are supplied to Goa every day.

Only 30 per cent of milk produced in India is handled by the organised sector which is expected to increase to 68 per cent in a decade.

Karnataka has six per cent of livestock share of India, it ranks third in wool production and seventh in egg production.

Also present on the occasion were Dr Purvi Mehta Bhatt, Regional Representative, South Asia, International Livestock Research Institute; Dr C S Prasad, director, National Institute of Animal Nutrition and Physiology; Prof K M L Pathak, Deputy Director General, Indian Council for Agricultural Research; and Dr S Ayyappan, Secretary, Department of Agricultural Research and Education and Director General, ICAR. Over 400 delegates, a few of them from 12 countries, are attending the conference.

India No 1 milk producer

Highlights of the papers presented in the conference are: India has been the largest producer of milk globally since 1998.

Milk production has increased by 40 per cent over the last few years. In India, on an average, every small farm has an average of one to three dairy animals.

There is a lot of interdependence between agriculture and livestock. The number of milch animals has increased since 1990s.

Livestock feed accounts for 70 per cent of milk production cost, still they are fed waste, agricultural, horticultural and domestic waste and weeds,  a reason for the livestock contracting various diseases and deficiencies.

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