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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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Study: Fever, chills, And Muscle Pain Could Be Signs Of Leptospirosis

Fever, chills, and muscle pain aren’t the symptoms just of malaria

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A herdsman walks his cattle as they graze in Naivasha, Kenya, Feb. 15, 2018.
A herdsman walks his cattle as they graze in Naivasha, Kenya, Feb. 15, 2018. VOA

Fever, chills, and muscle pain aren’t the symptoms just of malaria. They could be signs of leptospirosis, which infects millions of people each year — primarily in tropical regions.

The under-reported disease is usually spread though contact with rodents, but a new study finds this trend may not hold in northern Tanzania or beyond.

Research in Asia has tied living in close quarters with rats to outbreaks of leptospirosis. The bacterial infection causes symptoms that are often mistaken for malaria. Severe cases can be life-threatening, says Professor Albert Ko at the Yale School of Public Health.

“Our group has done global burden of disease studies on this and there are over a million a cases a year and roughly 60 thousand deaths,” said Ko.

Common source of fevers

Leptospirosis is becoming recognized as a common source of fevers in Africa. But the source of the disease was unclear. It could be rats, or it could be something else, said Michael Maze, of the University of Otago.

“Well, we know that leptospirosis has many possible animal hosts,” said Maze. “I guess the story starts when we identified how common leptospirosis was the cause of severe fever in people coming to the hospital in northern Tanzania.”

Maze and an international team of researchers asked those patients about their lifestyles: how many rats they saw around their home… whether they owned livestock and if so, what kind?

They also tested blood samples for leptospirosis infections. Of the nearly 900 people tested, almost a third were infected, or had been.

The researchers also trapped almost 400 rats in nearby villages. They tested the rodents to see if they carried the leptospira bacterium like their Asian cousins. They did not.

But cattle did — they found over seven percent of them carried up to four types of leptospira that could potentially infect humans. Goats and sheep did, too, though less often.

cow
cow, Pixabay

Blood samples match

This result matched the findings from the patients’ blood samples. People who owned livestock were most likely to have leptospirosis infections, especially cattle owners.

“Leptospirosis is carried in the renal tract — so the kidney and the bladder — and comes out in the urine of infected animals,” said Maze. “So even simple things like avoiding urine while doing activities such as, for example, milking cattle would be a good first step.”

Maze recommends abattoir workers and dairy farmers wear gloves and other protective clothing.

“A cow is much bigger and it produces a much larger volume of urine and so that creates a greater opportunity for exposure,” said Maze.

But Maze and colleagues found doctors did not diagnose a single one of the patients in the study with leptospirosis. In fact, one in four active cases was misdiagnosed as malaria — even though the patients’ blood tested negative for parasites.

Symptoms similar

Maze says one reason is because symptoms of the two diseases are similar and there is not an accurate, simple test for leptospirosis that can be run in regional hospitals.

“The second reason is that clinician awareness of these diseases is low,” said Maze. “If you don’t recognize them it becomes a cycle where they’re never diagnosed so you never recognize them.”

Yale’s Albert Ko says the work Maze and his colleagues have done provides a better understanding of how leptospirosis spreads.

Also read: The outbreak of Leptospirosis with monsoon: Symptoms and precautions

“This is an important study specifically because it provides key information on risk factors in a high burden setting, said Ko. “In specifically among this at-risk population of vulnerable pastoralist society.” (VOA)