Thiruvananthapuram: A major problem in the country is that it is not able to meet the rising needs of milk, meat, eggs, fish and edible oils, even though the inflation levels of all other essential commodities have fallen substantially with increased production, Union Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution KV Thomas has said.
He felt that the state, which has structured a model for increasing milk production, could replicate it in related sectors to meet consumer needs.
Launching the new initiatives of Kerala Livestock Development Board for the conservation and propagation of native breeds of livestock at a national workshop here on Monday, the minister said that not even a single project submitted by Kerala for livestock development, is pending.
The Centre had been very liberal in sanctioning various conservation projects of the KLD Board, as it has emerged as a model organisation in designing and implementing a planned livestock-breeding programme in our country, he said.
Conservation projects of Malabari goat, Attappady black goat and Angamali pigs have been successfully implemented and an evaluation agency has rated them as excellent. High-tech farms were also well supported by the Centre and the first one was established at Kulathupuzha while new farms are coming up in Kolahalamedu and Mattupetty, which will function as modern bull mother farms to produce high value bulls for the country and will also act as integrated training centres for farmers.
The Union Minister said that milk production in the state had shown a positive trend as the production has increased from 20.3 lakh tonnes in 2004 to 28 lakh tonnes in 2010-11.
The average productivity of cows in the state has risen from six litres in 2001 to 8.9 litres in 2010-11. The positive changes in the animal husbandry sector in the state is a demonstrable example of Centre-State co-operation, he said. He said that the Centre had sanctioned a new project to the KLD Board for conservation of Vechur cattle. Native breeds will form a valuable treasure of biodiversity, he said. In his presidential address, Agriculture Minister KP Mohanan said that milk of native cows as well as their dung have been found to have high medicinal value.
Vechur cows, Kasargod dwarf cattle, Vatakara dwarf cattle, Malabari goats and Attappady black goats are of great importance in small holder production of milk and meat.
The meat of Attappady black goat has high medicinal value. In the upcoming Five Year Plan, special emphasis will be laid on conservation and propagation of indigenous breeds of cows, he said.
Union Animal Husbandry Commissioner Amarjit Singh Nanda delivered the keynote address. State Planning Board vice-chairman KM Chandrasekhar released a CD titled ‘Experience of KLDB in conservation ofnative breeds’ on the occasion. KLD Board Director Ani M Das welcomed the gathering.