Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar on Wednesday raised concerns over the looming shortage of fodder for animals in the coming days and appealed to the policymakers, entrepreneurs and dairy leaders to resolve the issue.
Speaking at the International Dairy Federation (IDF)‘s World Dairy Summit’s session on Feed, Food and Waste, the minister underscored various challenges that the agriculture is facing currently.
“The primary concern among them is how to ensure adequate availability of fodder in the coming times and what could be the mediums to resolve it. This requires a serious discussion,” said Tomar.
Giving an example of the Gir breed of cows from the Goras region, Tomar said during the peak summer and under water scarcity situations, the cattle herds have to take their cattle to far-flung areas as far as 200-300 miles away in search of fodder. “Due to this issue, the desired development of these people don’t happen,” he said.
Wasting valuable residue
On the stubble-burning issue, he termed it as a waste of a valuable farm residue, which could be put to many alternate uses including for improving the soil fertility.
“Normally, we consider it as waste. If we can’t use it adequately, we may face a challenge for the environment as well as for animal fodder. The issue of Parali (stubble burning) crops up every time. Everyone knows that stubble burning is like the wastage of a resource. The potential income from these farm residuals won’t be realised if it is burnt,” he said.
The stubble burning, he said, not just impacts the environment, but also damages the soil, and kills the friendly bacteria resulting in the deterioration of soil quality, which eventually impacts its fertility.
The Agriculture Minister also appealed to the farmers to join the organic and natural farming mission and look for higher realisations.
“In recent times, India has seen exports of agriculture products worth ₹4-lakh crore. A large part of this is organic products,” he said.
Source : The Hindu Business Line Sep 14 2022