Union Minister Giriraj Singh at the 14th PDFA International Dairy and Agri Expo 2019 at Jagraon in Ludhiana, Saturday. (Express photo: Gurmeet Singh)
Union Minister Giriraj Singh Saturday said that the dairy farmers will be provided with sexed semen for Rs 100 per vial by 2020 so that buffaloes and cows produce female calves only.
He was addressing the inaugural function of 14th Progressive Dairy Farmers Association (PDFA) International Dairy and Agri Expo 2019 at Jagraon in Ludhiana. Jagraon is said to be the largest cattle mandi (sale and purchase market) in Punjab.
“The Union government is committed to provide sexed semen to dairy farmers to improve the quality of milch cattle, especially buffaloes and cows. The technology would help dairy farmers ensure production of only female calves, which would eventually put an end to the practice of abandoning the male calves that later posing a major threat to human life in the form of the stray cattle. By 2020, sexed semen would be provided to the farmers for only Rs 100 per vial, which currently is available for Rs 600 per vial (with subsidy), whereas its actual cost is Rs 1,200 per vial,” said the Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries minister.
He informed that under this project, 600 villages have been chosen across country, where 200 cattle from each village would be provided free breeding with quality sexed semen.
He added that the government is also working to bring improvements in Embryo Transfer Technology (ETT) so as to ensure production of quality livestock. ETT could help in speeding up breed improvement, which would fetch better prices to the dairy farmers due to higher milk yield, he added.
For the development of the fisheries sector, Singh said that parts of Punjab and Haryana, where farmers suffer due to saline water, prawn and shrimp farming would be promoted.
While speaking to media persons, he said that the Centre has decided not to allow import of milk from foreign countries. To safeguard the interests of farmers, the government would also terminate the contracts it had for this purpose under the World Trade Organization (WTO). He said that new pro-farmer policies are being formulated, after which a dairy farmer owning two cattle would have an annual income of Rs 3 lakh. He also announced that more than Rs 13,500 crore would be spent by the union government to ensure that the milch cattle do not suffer from any diseases.