Working to end stray cow issue by tenure-end: Giriraj

Union Minister Giriraj Singh. Photo by DH

Union minister Giriraj Singh on Tuesday announced that Modi government's current five-year tenure will see the end of problem of stray cows in the country, saying his animal husbandry ministry is working on a solution to deal with the issue.

Declining to specify details of the plan being worked out to deal with the problem, Singh said, "pehle prayog hone dijiye" (let the experiment be completed).

Addressing a conference on National Milk Day here, Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying Giriraj Singh said the coverage of artificial insemination (AI) in bovine will be increased to 100 per cent from the current 30 per cent by 2025.

Singh said the government is using technologies like sex sorting, IVF, and surrogate mother to boost milk productivity and production for boosting farmers' income.

Taking about the problem of stray cows, the minister said that he will ensure by the end of his five-year tenure that there would be no stray cow on the roads. He mentioned that the presence of stray cows led to communal tension in the past.

"In the coming years, stray animals will not be seen on roads. I am concerned about this. Through the use of cow dung and cow urine, helpless cows will be able to provide support to others," Singh told reporters on the sidelines.

He said the ministry is currently conducting experiments along with the Indian Council of Agricultural Research and the entire roadmap will be chalked out after that.

Singh said the country's milk production has increased to 187.75 million tonnes in 2018-19 from 137.7 million tonnes in 2013-14, growing at an average of 6.4 per cent per year.

Per capita availability of milk increased from 307 grams in 2013-14 to 394 grams in 2018-19. Around 70 million rural households are engaged in the dairy sector in India.

The minister said that the animal husbandry sector has the potential to boost farmers' income by two to three times.

Minister of State for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying Sanjiv Balyan said there is a perception in people about adulteration of milk and milk products and this needs to be cleared.

Pratap Chandra Sarangi, who is also MoS in the ministry, stressed on organic farming through the use of cow dung and urine and said this would also reduce the cost of production. He said there is a need to boost dairy exports and capture at least 10 per cent of the global market.

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