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Kerala Budget 2024-25| Animal husbandry earmarked ₹277.14 crore

The State Budget for 2024-25 has set aside ₹277.14 crore for the animal husbandry sector. Out of this ₹82.50 crore is for the public sector undertakings in the animal husbandry sector and ₹57 crore is for Kerala Veterinary and Animal Science University. A total of ₹109.25 crore is set aside for dairy development. Of this, ₹11.40 crore is for rural dairy extension and farm advisory service and ₹22.55 crore for dairy cooperatives.

The Budget of 2023-24 had seen animal husbandry and dairy development being provided ₹435.40 crore of which ₹320.64 crore was for the Animal Husbandry department and ₹114.76 crore for the Dairy Development department. The last Budget had also set aside ₹41 crore for strengthening veterinary services and had announced a dairy park under the Kerala Livestock Development Board at a cost of ₹20 crore. As the first step, an amount of ₹2 crore was allocated.

Reducing cost

Sources said that work on the dairy park had not moved forward significantly even as land improvement work on the proposed site in Idukki district was currently under way. At the same time, dairy experts in the State feel that Kerala farmers are unable to bring down the cost of milk production, which is a big impediment to the sector’s growth. Raising the price of milk is an easy option. But it has its consequences because milk producers from other States will take advantage of the higher price to sell their products here.

Increasing milk yield

A key factor that held the key to a better future was improving the genetic potential of the breed, said Jayadevan N., dairy consultant. He said that better genetic quality would improve milk yield. Increasing milk yield substantially was the pressing need now. For this, dairy entrepreneurs should be made aware of the breed quality as well as proper feeding of the animals, he added.

Kerala, when compared to other States, had great potential in terms of availability of resources to increase milk yield per animal. This advantage should be leveraged to give the dairy sector a new lease of life, he said.

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