The first phase of the National Dairy Plan (NDP), a central sector scheme funded by the World Bank and being implemented by the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), has commenced operations in major dairying states of the country. Gujarat, UP and Tamil Nadu are among the 13 out of the 14 major dairying states where work has begun. Discussions are at advanced stage with Bihar.
The National Steering Committee (NSC) has approved an outlay of R130.71 crore for the year 2012-13. This outlay covers 49 proposals pertaining to progeny testing, pedigree selection, strengthening of semen stations, ration balancing programme, fodder development and village-based milk procurement systems from eight states including Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa and Maharashtra that have been approved by the project steering committee, said Amrita Patel, chairman, NDDB, while reviewing the progress made by NDP till January 2013. Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal are likely to be covered in a months time.
These activities will contribute to production of high genetic-merit bulls and strengthening of existing semen stations for production of disease-free semen doses. They will make available high-quality fodder seeds, improve nutrition of milch animals using ration balancing and provide milk producers better opportunities for selling surplus milk by facilitating fair and transparent transactions. A baseline survey has been completed in nine states and all the 14 major dairying states will be covered by end of the current financial year, she said.
According to Patel, a focused scientific and systematic process to increase productivity of milch animals to meet the rapidly growing demand for milk is being adopted under NDP. Cooperatives are also being supported in providing rural milk producers greater access to the organised milk processing sector.
NDDB has conducted three national-level orientation workshops on NDP-I for various stakeholders. State-level meetings have also been conducted in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan to orient EIAs (environmental impact assessment) on issues critical to implementation of NDP-I. Training programmes for farmers and officials of dairy cooperatives have been initiated and so far about 400 participants have been trained in 20 training programmes.
She mentioned that the focus will be on identifying and assisting EIAs in preparation and submission of proposals relevant to their needs and capacity-building of EIAs in remaining states. Information, communication and technology- (ICT) based systems have been developed to enable effective monitoring of the projects by the project monitoring unit of NDDB.