Union Minister for agriculture and farmers’ welfare Radha Mohan Singh on Tuesday said in past three years, dairy farmers’ income has been increased by 14% and to meet the target of doubling the farm income, farmers need to look at agriculture allied sectors to boost the income. The minister was at Anand in Gujarat to attend Dairy Excellence Award by National Dairy Development Board (NDDB).“We have taken several steps for the development of the dairy sector in India and as a result income of dairy farmers has increased by 13.79% in the year 2014-17 compared to the year-ago period. India is number one in milk production and contributes 19% of the world’s total milk production,” said Singh.“Agriculture allied sector can help to increase the income of farmers and we have to enter in it to meet the target of doubling farm income by 2022. For this, recently, a seven-point strategy has been unveiled. Ministry of agriculture is working in this direction through various schemes in the dairy sector,” he added.
The government has planned to increase milk production to 200 million tonnes by 2019-20 which was 155.49 million tonnes in 2015-16. Currently, NDDB is in the leading role for the implementation of the National Dairy Plan (NDP) and the recently announced Dairy Infrastructure Development Fund (DIDF). The government has established DIDF at the cost of Rs 10,881 crore for the period from 2017-18 to 2028-29. “The purpose of all these schemes is to help increase the productivity of milch animals and thereby increase the milk production to meet the growing demand of milk and to provide more assistance to rural milk producers for more market access, including organised milk processing sector,” the minister said.