Direct marketing & home delivery of milk is need of hour: Balbir Sidhu


Chandigarh: The direct marketing and home delivery of milk and milk products must be attained by our dairy farmers to enhance their source of income as well as to avoid exploitation by the middle man. It was disclosed here today by Animal Husbandry, Fisheries & Dairy Development Minister Punjab Balbir Singh Sidhu during addressing the seminar organized on the theme of sustainable dairy farming through indigenous breeds at AGROTECH-2018.

Balbir Singh Sidhu said that to enhance the daily income of dairy farmers, now it’s time to replace the traditional ways of selling milk to middle man. He said that to promote the direct marketing, the Punjab Government is being provided the subsidy of Rs. 4 lakh to set up automatic milk dispensing unit to the dairy farmers, milk producer-company and self help groups who has 50 milch animals and producing 500 liters of milk per day.

Giving details about initiatives taken to save and keep the indigenous cows, he said that at the cost of 12.5 crore the Gokul Gram is being set up in 74 acres of land at Bir Dosanj, Nabha where  an eco friendly safari for indigenous cows will also be established. This safari will maintain about 600 indigenous cow breeds such as Sahiwal, Gir, Tharparkar and Red Sindhi. He said that 200 cows have been already kept at the Gokul Gram. These quality cows will be used for production of bulls to be used in future breeding programme.

Divulging about the value of quality and disease-less animals on the occasion, Dr Berwyn Clarke Managing Director PBD biotech laid emphasis on the impact of new technology in animal management. He said that there is need to pay more attention towards timely immunisation and keeping health of our milch animals.

Expressing his views on the topic of detection of TB in cattle for safe milk for human consumption, he said, “TB is a major clinical, food hygiene and agricultural problem since it number one in WHO’s list”. The fundamental problem is that the bacteria of TB take a longer time to grow which makes it difficult to diagnose it in early stages. The existing tests for TB is not very effective and studies have shown that for every 100 cows infected with TB, the existing technology will miss 20 cows. Hence, a new technology needs to be implemented i.e. Actiphage Rapid Assay. It can diagnose the bacteria in 6 hours rather than waiting for 3 months as done by the existing technology. The best part about this test is that the diagnosis can be done both via milk and the excreta. “The skin test can miss 20 per cent of the diseased”, he said. Clarke further added, “UK study published in 2002 found that 2 per cent of retail pasteurized milk contains MAP (culture) and in the same study, MAP was detected in 12 per cent of samples by PCR”.