New Delhi: Union Minister for Cooperation Amit Shah on Saturday said the country was moving forward in the direction of ”White Revolution-2” under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The cooperative model in the dairy sector touched all aspects including income, nutrition, livestock care, protecting human interest, employment and women empowerment, he said while speaking at the 49th Dairy Industry Conference organised by the Indian Dairy Association (IDA) in Gandhinagar.
By eliminating the middlemen between the farmer and the consumer in the entire system, the cooperative model provided maximum profit to the farmer, he said, adding the government was making efforts to strengthen the cooperative model in the dairy sector.
Shah noted that dairy was a business for the world but in a country like India with a population of 130 crore, it was a source of employment, an alternative to strengthen the rural economy, a solution to the problems of malnutrition and a sector of immense potential for women empowerment.
The cooperative movement, Shah said, has paved the path for making the country’s poor women farmers self-reliant. India’s dairy and animal husbandry sector contributed 4.5 per cent to the country’s GDP and the contribution of the dairy sector to the agriculture sector was 24 per cent, which was valued at around Rs 10 Lakh crores. It was the highest in the world.
Dairy was a strong part of India’s economy and in terms of employment, about 45 crore people from nine crore rural households, especially marginal farmers and women, were directly associated with the dairy sector, Shah added.
The cooperative minister said the dairy sector has progressed at an annual rate of 6.6 per cent in the last decade. He said the Ministry of Cooperation, National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) and the Department of Animal Husbandry would establish rural dairies in 2 lakh panchayats in the country and then the growth rate of the dairy sector would reach 13.80 per cent.
He said that India’s milk processing capacity was about 126 million liters per day, which was the highest in the world. ”We process 22 per cent of our total milk production, which benefits the farmer in the form of increased income.”