Dairy sector likely to get a push

PATNA: Banking circles believe that dairy sector could emerge as an alternative source of income for people concerned after the state government banned the trade and consumption of liquor in April.Incidentally, after the ban on liquor, CM Nitish Kumar had appealed to people of the state to engage themselves in dairy activities to increase their income.

Ranjit K Das, chief general manager of National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), Bihar said, “It (the ban) is a godsend to give push to milk production and consumption in the state. Bihar is a huge market for milk production and consumption.”

NABARD is the nodal agency that prepares the activity-based Annual Credit Plan (ACP) for the state, and loans are given through various commercial banks and regional rural banks, while the loans given are reimbursed by s.

NABARD’s assistant general manager M M Ashraf said around 6,000 applications are received annually by various branch offices of the bank for dairy-related activities. “Over 95% applications are cleared by the Mumbai headquarters for loan, and only a minuscule of them is returned for proper filing,” he added.

In January this year, NABARD had prepared State Focus Paper on ACP for the 2016-17 fiscal year based on the potential linked credit plan of all the 38 districts. It has allotted Rs 4,010.89 crore for dairy-related loans, against the allotment of Rs 2,872.31 crore in 2015-16. Asked if most of the allotment is absorbed, Ashraf replied in the affirmative, adding the demand for more loans is increasing.

The Focus Paper had said, “Traditionally, animal husbandry in the state was being practiced as a part of subsistence economy. However, it has emerged as an independent, commercially viable activity and is being viewed as an industry having immense potential for increasing the income of the rural households as well as meeting the increasing nutritional and taste requirements of people.”

The per capita daily availability of milk in the state is 188 gm/day against the national availability of 299 gm/day, while the annual total milk production is around 75.91 lakh tonnes, 5.21% of the national milk production, which points to the huge potential for milk production and even vast untapped market for consumption.

“People here derive additional income from their small-scale dairy activities,” Das said, adding: “The need is to expand dairy activities and also make it economically viable by reducing the cost incurred on quality feed.”

Source : timesofindia

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