The dairy sector in India grew at a rate of 6.4 per cent annually in the last four years against the global growth rate 1.7 per cent and the aim is to improve milk productivity per animal further, Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying Giriraj Singh said on Thursday.

Despite being ranked number one in milk production, the per animal productivity is 1,806 kg a year, whereas the world average is 2,310 kg. Technologies adopted under Rashtriya Gokul Mission such as embryo transfer technology, creation of facility for sex sorted semen production and genomics selection, would help to improve the productivity, he said while inaugurating a workshop quality milk production here.

He said about 80 million rural Indian households are engaged in milk production with very high proportion being landless, small and marginal farmers.

Tackling milk adulteration

The department has already approved a scheme to strengthen laboratories in 313 dairy plants in the country for detecting adulteration in milk. Besides, a central laboratory has been approved for the cooperative sector for 18 States. In the next stage of the National Programme for Dairy Development, testing for contaminants would be considered for village level cooperative societies helping create trust among farmers as well as consumers, Singh said.

Apart from ensuring consumption of safe milk, strengthening laboratories in dairy plants would help promote export. India accounts for only 0.01 per cent of the global dairy export market, the Minister said.

Singh said standards setting bodies like Food Safety and Standards Authority of India and Bureau of Indian Standards should be strict about milk adulteration and urged the milk unions not to buy adulterated milk. Milk unions should keep in mind the welfare of farmers and pay attention to feed and fodder and infrastructure for quality clean milk.