Budget 2016: Agriculture Minister seeks animal health card scheme

New Delhi, Feb 7: Aiming to control animal diseases and boost milk output, the Agriculture Ministry has sought measures like a new scheme on animal health card, e-market platform for bovine germplasm and increase in allocation for Rashtriya Gokul Mission in Budget 2016.

In its pre-Budget recommendations, the Agriculture Ministry has proposed launching of a 'Pashu Sanjeevani scheme' with components of health cards, emergency helpline and health services at door step, according to sources in the Finance Ministry.


The ministry has sought funds worth Rs 140 crore to cover 85 million milk producing animals under the scheme which would aim to control spread of animal diseases, enhance productivity and improve quality of livestock, the sources said.

The proposed animal welfare scheme will identify and trace animal with unique identification number, upgrade information network on animal productivity and health to national data base and create a dedicated helpline and doorstep delivery of health services, they added.

In the absence of an authentic market for quality and disease free bovine germplasm, the ministry has proposed creation of 'e-Pashu Haat' connecting breeders state agencies with stakeholders on an online platform, thereby maintaining identification and traceability of germplasm sold.

The ministry has said that the proposed e-market will enhance availability of disease-free germplasm with known genetic merit, provide a one stop portal for bovine breeders, no involvement of middlemen in sale and purchase of animals, allow sale of animals tagged with animal wellness card besides propagating indigenous bovine breeds and raise milk output.

That apart, the sources said the ministry has suggested a scheme to promote sex sorted semen to increase female population to make milk production more remunerative to farmers.

The new scheme has been proposed as at present out of 300 million bovines, only 85 million are milk producing, leaving large number of unproductive animals.

The ministry has also proposed the Finance Ministry to make Rashtriya Gokul Mission (RGM) -- which works towards development, preservation and conservation of indigenous breeds -- a separate scheme with higher fund allocation, sources added.

The RGM is a focussed project under National Programme for Bovine Breeding and Dairy Development with an outlay of Rs 500 crore during the 12th Five Year Plan.

Milk production in India, the world's largest producer and consumer, is estimated to produce over 160 million tonnes in 2015-16, as against 146.31 million tonnes last year.


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