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Increased MSP on milk: Himachal Government promoting economic activities in rural areas

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Hilly terrains of Himachal Pradesh present many restrictions on farming activities in the state as there is lesser availability of cultivable land. Agriculturists of the state fall in the category of small farmers because of availability of a handful of cultivable land, that too in distant area and in patches. Therefore, it becomes necessary for an agriculturist to adopt multiple other practices like animal husbandry, fish farming, cow rearing or poultry farming etc. as a source of additional income to take care of oneself and family.

Keeping this in view, the State Government has come up with various initiatives and schemes to promote animal husbandry, cattle farming in particular, as it is another important element in the shining and growing economy of Himachal. The upcoming fiscal budget consists of various measures to be undertaken by the government for the benefit of the farmers and substantially increase their income. With an aim of promoting milk production on a large scale across the state, the government has taken the historic decision of significantly raising the Minimum Support Price (MSP) of cow and buffalo milk to Rs. 45 and Rs. 55, respectively.

Himachal Pradesh has become the first state in the country to ensure the MSP on the purchase of milk, thereby strengthening the financial condition of the cattle rearers. The step will also motivate youth to adopt animal husbandry and farming as profitable ventures. The State Government has also decided that the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee would not levy ‘Mandi Fee’ on the milk production societies like Milkfed, Kamdhenu Hitkari Manch and others, beginning 1st April, 2024.


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The government has also launched ‘Him Ganga’ scheme for the welfare of milk producers. Under the scheme, a milk processing plant, with a capacity of 1.5 lakh liters per day, would be established at Dhagwar in Kangra district. The plant would be equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and processed products like curd, khoya, ghee, ice cream, cheese and milk powder will be prepared in the plant. The government has also decided that keeping in view the future needs and demands, the capacity of the milk processing plant would be raised to three lakh litres per day.

The government has also decided to start a plant of 50 thousand litres per day capacity at Dattanagar in Shimla district, and to set up modern milk processing plants in Hamirpur & Una districts with an investment of Rs. 50 crore. The establishment of these plants will boost the rural economy and earning prospects for villagers and the youth of the state. The people residing in rural areas will also get an opportunity to earn a decent sum by selling milk near their home while carrying out routine chores like farming etc.

Another commendable initiative of the State Government is the budgetary provision of providing 200 refrigerated milk vans at 50 percent subsidy to the local youth to transport milk to the processing plants or collection centres. Good breeds of cattle will also be provided which would on one hand increase milk output and on the other hand improve the quality of milk, thereby ensuring a decent rise in income of the cattle rearers. In order to fulfil this objective, the state government has decided to establish an ‘Artificial Insemination Training Centre’ at Darlaghat of Solan district.

The government’s initiative will also ensure creation of ample employment and self-employment opportunities for the youth at their doorsteps. As economic activities in rural areas mark an increase, it would also allay the rising concern regarding migration of the youth from villages to urban areas in search of employment.

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