State Ministers' conference called to find ways for fast growth of dairy, fisheries, poultry sectors

New Delhi, Feb. 5 (ANI): Agriculture and Food Processing Industries Minister Sharad Pawar will inaugurate a conference of Ministers for Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries of all states and Union Territories here on Wednesday.

The conference has been called to find ways for fast growth of dairy, fisheries and poultry sectors.

The livestock sector has been showing healthy growth of more than four percent per annum in recent years and has the potential to grow even faster with new initiatives being taken in the XII Plan. This sector is important not only as the producer of highly nutritious food products, but also for sustenance of poor farmers and overall prosperity of the farming community.

The conference will have focussed discussions on important subjects such as dairying, fisheries, animal diseases and fodder production etc. It will also discuss the long-pending draft 'National Livestock Policy' that will guide sustainable growth of the entire livestock sector in the country.

Another important subject for discussion is the approach and strategy for livestock and fisheries sector for 12th Plan.

States and Union Territories would be requested to allocate more funds to the livestock and fisheries sector out of the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojna (RKVY) and make the best use of flexibility provided to them under RKVY in initiating projects to suit their specific needs.

There will also be discussion on the National Dairy Plan, a mega programme for fast growth of dairy sector. Its first phase is to be implemented over the next six years in 14 major milk producing States. These states together constitute 90 percent of the country's milk production. These are: Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and Kerala.

Fodder production remains a high-priority area necessary for development of livestock sector. The conference will deliberate on ways to produce sufficient quantity of improved fodder seed.

States will be urged to upscale production of quality fodder seed using resources available under various schemes. Besides the State funds, RKVY funds can be utilized for this purpose. Specifically, funds from the Fodder and Feed Development Scheme should be used by the states for augmenting availability of fodder seed. This scheme also provides for contract farming and buy-back arrangements, which are suitable instruments for incentivizing farmers for growing fodder varieties for the purpose of seed production.

Not only the coastal states, but other states with high potential for aquaculture will deliberate on matters such as production of fish-seed, cold chain development, production of high-value species such as prawns, and matters relating to fishermen and fish-farmers. (ANI)

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