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Union Minister Inaugurates National Symposium on Fodder Development to Boost Livestock Nutrition

New Delhi: Today, Parshottam Rupala, Union Minister for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, and Dairying, inaugurated the National Symposium on Fodder Development at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. Secretary Smt. Alka Upadhaya and officials from the Department (DAHD) were also present during the event.

Addressing the gathering, Shri Parshottam Rupala expressed concern over the historical neglect of fodder and emphasized its critical role in ensuring food security for the nation’s livestock. He reiterated the Prime Minister’s vision, underscoring the establishment of “Fodder banks” in all four regions of the country. These banks will be equipped with proper storage facilities, logistics, and transportation, aligning with localized fodder production and the livestock population in each region.

The Union Minister highlighted the Cabinet’s decision to include additional livestock species such as Mule, Donkey, Camel, and horses under various schemes related to animal breeding. He stressed the need to increase the area under fodder production, mapping fodder requirements based on nutritional needs, benchmarking global trends in fodder practices, and exploring business potential for private players.

Shri Rupala proposed recognizing outperforming states/union territories in fodder development and awarding the best performer. He concluded by affirming that discussions from the National Fodder Symposium would pave the way forward and form the basis for designing interventions for the nation’s livestock.

Secretary Smt. Alka Upadhyay highlighted the Department’s vision for the country’s livestock population. She emphasized India’s position as the largest milk-producing country globally due to the white revolution, leading to increased per capita milk availability. Smt. Upadhyay expressed concern over the disparity between production and productivity, citing the importance of animal nutrition. She discussed the department’s efforts in breed improvement, conservation of local breeds, and breed improvement through advanced technologies.

The National Livestock Mission, implemented by the government, is addressing the fodder shortage situation through its ‘Fodder and Feed Development’ sub-mission. The mission includes assistance for quality fodder seed production and entrepreneurship development programs. The government is also implementing the ‘Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund (AHIDF)’ to incentivize investments in the sector.

The event witnessed the participation of various stakeholders associated with animal husbandry and fodder development, including officials from institutes such as the National Dairy Development Board, National Seed Corporation, Indian Grassland Forage Research Institute, Krishi Vikas Sahkari Samiti Ltd., and representatives from states/union territories, with more than 250 farmers and entrepreneurs participating in the symposium. The initiative is part of the Azadi ka Amrit Mohotsav, aimed at addressing critical issues related to fodder and bridging gaps to meet future demands.

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