Parshottam Rupala inaugurates National Symposium on Fodder Development

Pashu Sandesh, 29 Feb 2024

Union Minister for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying Shri Parshottam Rupala inaugurated the National Symposium on Fodder Development today at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. Secretary Smt. Alka Upadhaya and officials from the Department (DAHD) were also present on the occasion.

Shri Parshottam Rupala started his address with a concern that the fodder has not been the priority hitherto. He reiterated the Prime Minister’s vision, also a message to the Livestock farmers ‘an utmost priority to ensure the food security of the Pashu Dhan – the nation’s Livestock’. He further talked about the government’s plan to set up “Fodder banks” in all four regions of the country, equipped with proper storage facilities, logistics and transportation facilities based on the fodder requirement by scientifically taking cognizance of the livestock population and the localized fodder production in the region along with the availability of buffer stock.

Union Minister highlighted the decision of the Cabinet on the addition of more livestock species (e.g. Mule, Donkey, Camel and horses) under the ambit of various Schemes related to Animal Breeding. He also envisaged increasing the area under fodder production and schemes related to it and the importance of mapping the fodder requirement as per the nutritional requirement based on the type of animals (Milch animals, Heifer, drought animals etc) and the age of animals; benchmarking the world trend in Fodder Practices and exploring the business potential for private players and the ease of doing Livestock Insurance and risk management as a focal point for the prime sector.

Shri Rupala emphasized recognising the outperforming States/UT in the area of fodder development and awarding the best performing State/UT. He concluded his speech by affirming that the discussions derived from the National Fodder Symposium would pave the way forward and form a basis for designing interventions for the Pashu Dhan of the Country.

Secretary Smt. Alka Upadhyay addressed the audience by emphasizing the Department’s vision towards the Livestock population of the country. She reconciled India’s position as the largest Milk producing country in the world owing to the white revolution being translated as the increase in the per capita milk availability. She then expressed her concern over the parity of production and productivity due to the impending fact that although India is topping the world chart in production, the productivity per animal is not at par and animal nutrition is one of the important factors. She emphasized about the breed improvement program and the Department’s stewardship towards the conservation of local/indigenous breeds and Breed improvement by encouraging breeder farms, nucleus farms, IVF and Sex Sorted Semen technology to scale faster.

Secretary also traced the journey of the Department over the past years recuperating from Livestock Diseases through various modalities such as vaccination, making it more affordable and accessible to the Livestock Farmers. She then emphasized the Fodder and Feed for Animals, stating that the need of the hour is to increase the availability and production of Fodder by increasing the area under fodder cultivation, and the groundwork is already included in the existing scheme’s guidelines by incorporating the common pastureland, degraded forest land for fodder cultivation and production of fodder seed through research &innovation of the novel varieties. She concluded her speech by discussing the Fodder Industry as a blooming business opportunity.

To address the shortage of fodder situation, the Government is implementing a scheme named National Livestock Mission which has a Sub-mission named ‘Fodder and Feed Development’. Under the sub-mission, two components namely ‘Assistance for Quality fodder seeds production (for the production of Quality certified fodder seeds) and Entrepreneurship Development Programme (for fodder blocks/Hay/TMR /silage making Units) are being implemented.

Besides, the government has introduced new components namely ‘Establishment of Seed Processing and Grading entrepreneurs’ and ‘Fodder production from Non-forest wasteland /rangeland/ non-arable land and degraded forests lands’. The Government is also implementing ‘Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund (AHIDF)’, a Central Sector Scheme which incentivizes (with 3F% interest subvention) investments by inpidual entrepreneurs, private companies, MSME, Farmers Producers Organizations (FPOs) and Section 8 companies in the sector.

Under the aegis of Azadi ka Amrit Mohotsav, the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying hosted this National Symposium. Union Minister Shri Parshottam Rupala appreciated the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying’s initiative to organize the first-of-its-kind National Symposium on Fodder by inviting all the stakeholders on a single platform as an ideating panel of discussion to address the pressing issues about fodder in the country and bridge the gaps impeding it and fulfil the future demands. He envisaged that the outcomes of the symposium would translate into a way forward towards all the dimensions of Fodder, its availability, access, Innovation, and sustainability in the nation.

The event witnessed the participation of various stakeholders associated with Animal Husbandry and Fodder Development, including officials from the institutes such as the National Dairy Development Board, National Seed Corporation, Indian Grassland Forage Research Institute, Krishi Vikas Sahkari Samiti Ltd., National Agricultural Cooperative Federation of India Ltd., representatives from the States/UTs and more than 250 farmers/Entrepreneurs participated in the event.