Tuesday September 24, 2019
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NDDB accounts for 90 percent of milk production in India: T Nanda Kumar

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By Nityanand Shukla

Ranchi: The National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) involves around a million farmers in its activities. A top official revealed the Board earning a profit of Rs. 15-20 per liter by selling milk to its various federations.

T Nanda Kumar, chairman of National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), said Gujarat topped the list in milk production followed by Karnataka. The total milk production in the country was over 140 million tonnes in 2014-15.

Nanda Kumar said the National Dairy Plan-1, now into its third year, is being implemented in 15 states, which account for more than 90 percent of the country’s milk production, over 87 percent of the breedable cattle and 98 percent of the country’s fodder resources.

Initially, NDP-I was approved for implementation in 14 milk potential states by the NDDB with a total outlay of Rs.2,242 crore for a period of six years from 2011-12 to 2016-17. Now the implementation period has been extended by two years till 2018-19 to achieve key outputs.

Nanda Kumar informed that NDDB now procures 400 million liters of milk and the two-year extension would help in achieving the desired results.

He said the government last June decided to include the three states of Uttarakhand, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh that were formed in 2000 under NDP-1.

“It is extremely important to develop these three states, where poverty is an issue, as dairy development benefits the states socio-economically,” Nanda Kumar told reporters.

The NDDB had taken up the management of the Jharkhand State Cooperative Milk Producers Federation Limited in 2014, which has been selling milk under the Medha brand for five years.

“Once the 100,000-litre milk processing plant in Ranchi becomes operational, more and more farmers would be joining the state milk federation because of increase in price realization,” he said.

“More than 20,000 farmers would be getting the higher remunerative price at around Rs.27-Rs.28 per liter against Rs.16-Rs.17 per liter they used to get when private players used to procure milk from them,” he said.

The board has set up milk storage plants at 370 villages, where farmers from around 600 villages bring in their milk daily for purchase by the state milk federation.

However, in Jharkhand, power was a major constraint and the expenses get escalated as diesel-run milk coolers have to be pressed into service.

He said milk consumption was less in the eastern region, including Jharkhand and Assam.

NDDB, founded by Verghese Kurien, in 1965, fulfilled the desire of India’s second prime minister, Lal Bahadur Shastri, to extend the success of the Anand Cooperative Milk Producers’ Union (Amul) in Kaira, Gujarat, to other parts of India. (IANS) (Image source: thegaurdian.com)

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India: Asiatic Lions in Gujarat’s Gir forests to Have Radio Collars Fitted Around their Necks

A radio collar is a wide band of machine-belting fitted with a small radio transmitter and battery

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Asiatic Lions, Gujarat, Gir Forests
Since June 11 up to now more than 25 representative lions of as many prides have been fitted with radio collar devices imported from Germany. Pixabay

The rare Asiatic lions in Gujarat’s Gir forests and surrounding regions will have radio collars fitted around their necks this month, similar to the lions of the African savannah and the Serengeti.

According to Chief Conservator of Forests in Junagadh D.T. Vasavada, since June 11 up to now more than 25 representative lions of as many prides have been fitted with radio collar devices imported from Germany.

A radio collar is a wide band of machine-belting fitted with a small radio transmitter and battery. The transmitter emits a signal at a specific frequency that can be tracked from up to five kilometres away.

When trying to locate a particular collared lion, the researcher dials the appropriate frequency and drives while listening for the beep signal. A directional antenna is mounted on top of the vehicle, and once the signal is detected, the researcher simply drives in the direction where the signal is loudest.

Asiatic Lions, Gujarat, Gir Forests
The rare Asiatic lions in Gujarat’s Gir forests and surrounding regions will have radio collars fitted around their necks this month. PIxabay

“This will help the forest department in monitoring of the group’s movement, research, knowing the territory of the animal and other details. From Sasan, a high tech monitoring unit will monitor their activities. A total of 75 radio collars have been imported from Germany for the purpose,” he added.

Vasavada said as all the members of a pride of lions normally remain within a distance of around half to one kilometer of one another, the location of the representative beast would in fact give the location of an entire pride.

Representatives of the entire lion landscape in and around Gir in Saurashtra region of Gujarat spread in the five districts of Gir Somnath, Junagadh, Amreli, Bhavnagar and Botad would be radio collared in around a month’s time.

According to the last lion census of 2015, there were 523 male, female and lion cubs in the Gujarat forests.

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During floods and other calamities and spread of diseases, the radio collars would be a big help for forest teams. The radio collars would also be helpful in letting the lion trackers know if any group of lions was close to the railway tracks or roads. (IANS)