India using innovation & digitisation for dairy development: NDDB Chairman at FAO

India using innovation & digitisation for dairy development: NDDB Chairman at FAO

Meenesh Shah, Chairman, National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) presented India’s smallholder dairying system to global experts and shared experiences of using innovation and digitisation for dairy development at the Science & Innovation Forum 2022 organised by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Rome, Italy.

On the sidelines of World Food Forum, Chairman, NDDB met FAO’s Deputy Director-Generals Beth Bechdol and Maria Helena Semedo and Director, Animal Production and Health Division (NSA), Thanawat Tiensin and discussed about the Indian smallholder farming system, sustainable livestock production systems and innovations. During the meetings, the opportunities for working together in the area of dairy development were discussed and Shah also proposed for jointly organising an international symposium as part of G20 presidency of India.

During the session titled ‘Harnessing science and innovation for sustainable livestock sector transformation’, Shah spoke on ‘Technological innovations in support of small-scale dairy producers in India’ and elaborated on India’s transformational journey from milk deficiency to becoming the world’s largest milk producer. Shah said that India contributes 23 per cent of global milk production with about 6 per cent annual growth rate. These have been made possible through innovations – technological, scientific, processes and more importantly bringing people together and building a governance structure.

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Chairman, NDDB said that the focus is on digital ecosystems like Information Network for Animal Productivity & Health (INAPH), the national database in which over 230 million animals are registered and National Digital Livestock Mission (NDLM) having components like traceability, disease surveillance, and control programmes.

Shah further said that the manure (cattle dung) management initiatives being undertaken by NDDB with partner organisations have proven to be quite successful by way of providing cooking gas to meet household needs, income from the sale of bio-slurry, solid and liquid organic fertilisers improving soil fertility and at the same time reducing the greenhouse gas emissions. This initiative is also being furthered by setting up large-scale biogas plants which would meet the energy needs of the dairy plants.

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During the panel discussion, Chairman, NDDB conveyed that there are ample opportunities for innovation in the dairy sector from improving the productivity of milch animals to improved quality of milk and milk products and value addition which will benefit our small and marginal dairy farmers as well as consumers. Shah said that time has come to take successes of laboratory to field and improve operational efficiency and reducing impact of dairying on the environment for which such cross-learning experiences and sharing platforms would be important for implementing best practices across the globe.

Thanawat Tiensin, Director, Animal Production and Health Division, FAO; Chandapiwa Marobela-Raborokgwe, Director, National Veterinary Laboratory, Botswana; Carlos Cherniak, Permanent Representative of Argentina and Chairperson of the Committee on Agriculture’s (COAG) Sub-Committee on Livestock; Halimatou Kone Traore, Deputy Permanent Representative of Mali to the FAO and Vice-Chairperson of the COAG Sub-Committee on Livestock; Iain A Wright, Deputy Director General – Research and Development – Integrated Sciences, International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI); Donald Moore, Executive Director, Global Dairy Platform also participated in the forum.

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