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Global warming portends ill for India’s flourishing Dairy sector: Experts

India is self-sufficient in milk and is ranked the world's largest producer with an annual production of 156 million ton (2015-2016)

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Milk being poured in a glass, Pixabay
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Mumbai, Feb 17, 2017: Global warming portends ill for India’s flourishing dairy sector that stands to lose a whopping three million tonnes of milk in the next three years as average temperatures increase, with wide fluctuations in day and night temperatures, industry experts warned here on Friday. 17

Addressing the ongoing three-day “45th Dairy Industry Conference”, themed “Climate Change and Dairying”, several industry leaders and experts discussed how the gradually warming climate is adversely hitting the country’s dairy industry that employs over 16 million farmers, including 4.60 million women.

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President of Indian Dairy Association Arun D. Narke said that today, India is self-sufficient in milk and is ranked the world’s largest producer with an annual production of 156 million ton (2015-2016).

Citing the Ministry of Agriculture figures, he said Indian farmers are adding around 10 million tons of milk annually with a compounded annual growth of around 6.5 per cent in the sector, largely from farmers owning an average of one or two milch cows, to make the “White Revolution” a success.

However, this milk production could go down by three million tonne over the next three years as the average temperatures rise, creating problems of water and availability of green and dry fodder for the cattle, he said.

Indian Dairy Association (West Zone) Chairman Arun D. Patil said that Maharashtra has already undergone three consecutive years of drought till this year, which is set to affect the entire agriculture sector, including dairy.

Patil said most of India’s water needs are met through monsoon rains, which remained deficient for three years in a row, resulting in rising prices of fodder and increased cost of milk production.

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He urged the government to procure milk at a fixed price determined by the Centre as in the case of other agricultural commodities, like cotton or sugarcane, to enable the milk farmers get a minimum support price.

The industry has already initiated aggressive measures to deal with the upcoming crisis, farmers have started raising levels of animal shelters and scientists are researching on how to enhance the shelf-life of milk.

In this connection, A.K. Srivastava, Director and Vice Chancellor, Indian Council of Agricultural Research-National Dairy Research Institute (ICAR-NDRI), said even if we can achieve an increase in shelf-life of milk by half an hour, it would lead to massive profits to the dairy sector.

“The biggest challenge to the global dairy industry is expected between 2070-2090 when the temperatures are expected to rise between 2 degrees and 7 degrees,” predicted Srivastava grimly.

Additionally, he said, the Indian dairy sector faces huge shortage of skilled manpower with sound technical expertise in understanding the need for handling of milking cattle and related issues.

National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) Chairman Dilip Rath said that India accounts for 18 per cent of the global milk production, which is growing at around 6.5 per cent annually as compared to 4.7 per cent over the previous 10-year period.

“Milk is India’s single-largest agricultural commodity in value terms and is more than the combined value of paddy and wheat put together. The per capita availability of milk has increased three-folds, from 112 gm per day in 1970-1971 to 337 gm per day in 2016-2016.”

“The country’s milk demand is likely to increase by 190 million tonne by 2020 and catering to it poses a challenge with reducing farmlands and other issues,” Rath pointed out.

The conference welcomed the government’s initiative to allocate Rs 8,000 crore for three years for the growth and development of the dairy industry.

The three-day conference and exhibition, which got underway on February 16, has attracted 65 experts and 180 exhibitors from Indian, the USA, the UK, Germany, China, Bulgaria, Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Lithuania, Malaysia, The Netherlands and Thailand, showcasing products, technologies and services. (IANS)

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Star ICC Asks Anonymous Accuser Of Sexual Assault Charges To Step Forward

The accuser said that while she was at the company, there were "clear instructions" given to make the sales team fulfil the targets.

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#MeToo: Star India internal panel writes to anonymous accuser to come forward

The Internal Complaints Committee of Star India on Sexual Harassment (Star ICC) has written to the anonymous accuser — who had alleged “sexual exploitation” of women employees — asking her to reach out to the committee or its external member on allegations made by her in tweets.

In a Twitter post on Friday, Star ICC, formed under the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 said it had reached out to the accuser through two emails on the ID provided by her through her tweets. The committee’s external member is Veena Gowda, a Mumbai-based woman rights lawyer.

The accuser, who tweeted through handle @ApurvaS17 — saying she would remain anonymous — had made sexual harassment allegations against the company’s officials in an open letter.

Star ICC
Star believes that the allegations made in the tweet without the complainant coming forward and giving any further detail, is a malicious attempt.

Asked to comment on the allegations, a Star India spokesperson said in a statement that despite no response by the anonymous accuser to the messages sent, the Star ICC had “suo moto conducted a preliminary inquiry and found no basis or factual accuracy” in respect of the allegations.

“We strongly urge any genuine complainant to approach the Star ICC. At Star, we stand with women in drawing the line on any behaviour that violates human dignity or the ability for women to pursue their dreams with respect and freedom. We have a zero-tolerance policy towards sexual harassment,” read the statement in response to an email query by IANS.

It also said that the anonymous tweet shared on October 13 raised an allegation that “runs completely counter to everything we believe in and the norms and values that we deeply embrace.”

The statement further said: “Star believes that the allegations made in the tweet without the complainant coming forward and giving any further detail, is a malicious attempt to malign and defame the reputation of the company and the CEO.” It said that Star reserves its right to initiate appropriate legal proceedings in this regard.

Star ICC
The Star ICC had “suo moto conducted a preliminary inquiry and found no basis or factual accuracy.

The accuser in her tweets had said that the #MeToo movement had encouraged her to come forward and that she had quit her job at Star India in the Airtime Sales section after 26 months and nine days and was now a homemaker, “taking care of my baby and hubby in a beautiful country, far away from Mumbai.”

The accuser said that while she was at the company, there were “clear instructions” given to make the sales team fulfil the targets in case they want to continue with their employment contract, “for which even if you have to take the clients to a hotel room and sleep with them for days.”

She said there were many instances when she and three of her female colleagues (interns) had clear instructions to reach a hotel after office hours for a private party hosted for influential friends.

Also Read: India’s Junior Foreign Minister M.J. Akbar Quits Following #MeToo Harassment Allegation By Women

She says the influential friends were “mostly bureaucrats and sometimes politicians and foreign nationals” who were “all ready to violate you, force you to dance against your wishes, drink with them, make drink(s) for them, exchange your numbers and even quietly accompany them to their respective rooms if they want you to”.

Veteran writer-director Vinta Nanda, who earlier this month accused actor Alok Nath of sexually violating her 19 years ago, wrote on Twitter: “I’m neither shocked nor surprised. I salute your courage to have come out and spoken out. The rot runs deep.” (IANS)