New Delhi, 01 June 2021: Union Minister for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying, Shri Giriraj Singh chaired a virtual program organised on the occasion of World Milk Day. Every year,the first day of June is observed as World Milk Day.

The Minister announced the launch of the National Awards for the Cattle and Dairy sector, the Gopal Ratna Awards. The award has three categories –  i) Best Dairy farmer, ii) Best Artificial Insemination Technician (AIT) and Best Dairy Cooperative/ Milk producer Company/ FPO. He mentioned that eligible farmers/dairy cooperative societies/ AI technicians can apply for award online and portal for award will open from 15th July 2021. Winners for the award will be announced on 31st October 2021.

He also announced integration of e Gopala App with UMANG platform so that 3.1 Crore users of Umang platform will get access to App. e-GOPALA app (Generation of wealth through Productive Livestock), a comprehensive breed improvement marketplace and information portal for direct use of farmers, had been launched by Hon’ble PM on 10th September 2020.

Speaking on the occasion, Minister stated that India is a global leader amongst dairying nations and produced 198.4 million tonnes of milk during 2019-20. Value of output of milk is more than Rs 7.72 lakh crore during 2018-19 at current prices which is more than the value of output of wheat and paddy together.

Minister also mentioned that Milk Production has grown at an average annual growth rate of 6.3% per year during last 6 years whereas world milk production is growing at the rate of 1.5% per year. Percapita availability of milk has increased from 307 grams per person per day in 2013-14 to 406 grams per person per day in 2019-2020 that is y 32.24%.

He further stated that our dairy sector provides livelihood support to 8 crore dairy farmers engaged in dairying mainly small & marginal and landless labourers. The dairy cooperatives of the country have the singular distinction of providing seventy five percent of their sales, on the average, to the farmers. Over 2 crore dairy farmers organised into dairy cooperatives and there are 1.94 lakh Dairy Cooperative Societies collecting milk from milk potential villages.

The virtual event was also addressed by Minister of State, Fisheries Animal Husbandry & DairyingDr Sanjeev Kumar Balyan and Shri Pratap Chandra Sarangi. The event was virtually attended by farmers, members of dairy federations, Dairy co-operatives, research scholars, administrators etc.

The inaugural programme was followed by Technical Session on “Role of Breed Improvement Technologies in Genetic Up-gradation Programme”, many eminent experts and Scientists participated in the session.