Must make small dairy farms more productive & sustainable: Piyush Goyal tells IDF

Goyal asks developed world to be sensitive to the struggles of small and marginal farmers in the developing world

New Delhi: International Dairy Federation (IDF) must direct focused efforts towards finding relevant, contemporary, practical and cost-effective solutions to make small dairy farms in developing nations more productive, sustainable, eco-friendly, quality oriented and profitable.
This was stated by Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food, and Public Distribution and Textiles, Piyush Goyal while addressing the World Dairy Summit 2022 (WDS 2022) of IDF in Greater Noida.
He also urged IDF to explore the possibility of stationing a small team of experts in India to carry out research at the farm level, study India’s varied climatic conditions and come up with solutions that will help us align ourselves with the global standards and global emission norms. ‘I can assure you that India wants to be a part of the solution and not the problem’, he said.
Highlighting India’s status as the largest producer of dairy products in the world, with nearly one-fourth of the world’s production, the Minister expressed confidence that with greater international engagement and the strong initiative taken by the government, the cooperative sector and the farmers, India’s share of the global dairy market will see significant growth in the years to come. This, he said, would greatly benefit the small and marginal farmers of India and give them much needed supplementary income and contribute towards better nutrition for their children. It may be noted that one-third of the dairy production is used by the farmers for their family consumption.
Speaking of quality standards and sustainability, the Minister reiterated that India would very much like to become a part of the global efforts to bring down the impact of farming on global emissions. Drawing a picture of contrast between India where a large number of farmers with small land holdings are engaged in dairying and developed nations where relatively fewer numbers of farmers are engaged in production, the Minister called upon stakeholders of the dairy industry to find contemporary, relevant solutions to aid small farmers.
Echoing India’s commitment to take the fruits of prosperity and development to each and every one of its 1.3 billion people during the Amritkaal, the period leading up to the 100th anniversary of our independence in 2047, Goyal asked for focused efforts towards making small farms profitable.
Observing that the farmers of India are very conscious of their responsibility to the environment, the Minister said that they intrinsically, by their very nature and philosophical thinking strongly believed in sustainability. Referring to the deep regard and reverence that Indians have for the divinity that exists in nature, Shri Goyal said that our dairy farmers have always been very conscious of the environmental impact of their occupation. He cited as an example, the extensive use of cow dung as manure which considerably reduces the need for chemical fertilizers and pesticides and for the production of fuels such as biogas. This, he said, was also an important contribution towards efforts to reduce the carbon footprint of farming.
The Minister said that this reverence for nature was observable not only in dairying but also in our farming and fishing practices. He pointed out that this was one of the reasons behind India supporting nearly 17% of the world’s population and yet contributing less that 3% to the harmful global Green House Gas emissions. In this context, the Minister opined that relevant and cost-effective solutions for sustainability if offered to our farmers would be quickly adopted.