Animal Husbandry, Fishery and Dairying Minister Parshottam Rupala expressed confidence that the sector is likely to grow at 7 per cent in the current fiscal against over 6 per cent in 2022-23 and dismissed any shortage of milk products in the country.

Briefing media on the Centre’s achievements in the last nine years, Rupala said the launch of ‘mobile veterinary units’ is the best ‘initiative’, according to him, out of several steps taken in this sector that is changing the face of the livestock sector. He said there is no dearth of a fund if demand from states comes as the Centre is eager to see an expansion of these mobile van units.

Of 4,240 mobile veterinary units approved so far, 1,181 are already operational. Rupala said these ‘mobile ambulances’ help treat livestock animals at doorsteps and provide vaccination.

The minister also said that livestock vaccination is another milestone initiative of the government helping to address animal health. The government is promoting the production of milk in the country through several programmes like artificial insemination, IVF (In Vitro Fertilization), sex-sorted semen technology and vaccination, he added.

On milk availability in the country, he said that though milk prices have risen, there is no shortage of milk and milk-products. The government is trying to address the problem of high prices by increasing milk production, he said. He added that the per capita availability of milk increased to 449 grams in 2022 from 303 grams in 2014.

Milk prices in Delhi increased by ₹10 per litre last year between March and December.

The minister also said that less than 35 per cent of total milk production is collected for processing by dairy firms. The country has enough skimmed milk powder and the milk chain is functioning smoothly, he said. Rupala parried the question of improving fodder availability at reasonable prices by saying there is a scheme under which subsidies are available to raise fodder.

India is the world’s largest milk producer, contributing 221 million tonnes annually.