New Delhi : Faced with a 40 percent shortage of fodder, it would be difficult for India to achieve the target of 160 million tonnes of milk production by 2020, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said Wednesday.
He said deficient rains, especially in Maharashtra and Karnataka, have resulted in shortage of fodder so much so that in Maharashtra the standing sugarcane crop is being diverted for cattle feed.
Briefing the Parliamentary Consultative Committee here, the minister said he has directed the Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries Department to make modifications in various schemes to focus on fodder production.
He has also directed the Indian Council for Agricultural Research institutions to fast track their programmes relating to feed and fodder.
According to the minister, in order to achieve milk production of 160 million tonnes by 2020, 494 million tonnes of dry fodder, 825 million tonnes green fodder and 54 million tonnes concentrates will be required.
However, the present shortage of feed and fodder is as much as 40 percent and fodder is being cultivated only on four percent of the total cropping area, which is not adequate to meet the requirement, Pawar told the parliamentary panel.
“First and foremost requirement is to enhance area under fodder, which is possible by developing common property resources, like the wastelands, degraded forest areas. Improving productivity and coverage of coarse grains and dual purpose crops in rain-fed areas is the next priority,” said Pawar.