India Region

Government to set up Fodder Banks to Ensure Food Security for Cattle in the Country

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01 March 2024, New Delhi: Union Minister for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, and Dairying Parshottam Rupala inaugurated the National Symposium on Fodder Development on Wednesday at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. Secretary Alka Upadhaya and officials from the Department (DAHD) were also present on the occasion.

Parshottam Rupala started his address with a concern that the fodder has not been the priority hitherto. He reiterated the Prime Minister’s vision of ensuring the food security of the cattle in India. He further talked about the government’s plan to set up the “Fodder banks” in 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. 

He emphasized recognizing 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 Alka Upadhyay addressed the audience by emphasizing the Department’s vision for 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, but the productivity per animal is not at par and animal nutrition is one of the important factors for it. She emphasized 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. 

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 program (for fodder blocks/Hay/TMR /silage making Units) are being implemented. 

Also Read: Secretary Agriculture Releases Two Whitepapers by Kisan-Vigyan Foundation on India’s Food Security

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