VADODARA: While delivering the keynote address at the 45th Dairy Industry Conference with the theme ‘Climate change and dairying’ organised by the Indian Dairy Association (IDA) on Thursday, chairman of the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) Dilip Rath said that animals are a regular source of cash income and an asset, which can act as an insurance against income shocks of crop failure and natural calamities.
Rath said that there are primarily three contributing factors which led to the remarkable growth of Indian dairy sector taking our country from a period of deficit four to five decades ago to one of self-sufficiency now.
First is the steady growth in agricultural production which made it possible to make available adequate feed and fodder to the animals. Second is cross breeding strategy which ensured retention of the climate resilient traits of our native breeds. And above all, thirdly the powerful role played by farmer owned and controlled institutions which provided market access to millions of small holders.
He said climate patterns and resource endowments have significant implications for agriculture and livestock since parameters such as temperature, humidity, rainfall affect water and other resources and thereby agriculture and livestock. The dairy sector is likely to be affected both directly and indirectly by climate change. While stress to animals caused by changes in temperature-humidity index would directly affect milk production and animal reproduction, indirect effects include feed and water availability being impacted by adverse climate events.
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