Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Monday suggested that milk be included either in breakfast or mid-day meals to improve the nutritional levels of children.
Naidu spoke to Union Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani in this regard, an official statement said.
Irani assured Naidu that the central government would consider recommending to all the states to include milk in the mid-day meal scheme.
Earlier in the day, Secretary, Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying Atul Chaturvedi called on the vice president and briefed him about various measures being taken to help the poultry and dairy sectors to tide over the problems in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, the statement said.
He informed Naidu that the government was encouraging entrepreneurship in the poultry sector and providing support by way of incentives and policy intervention.
He also said the Department of Animal Husbandry would consider recommending to the Ministry of Finance the need to restructure loans for the poultry industry.
Chaturvedi also apprised Naidu of the stepping up of procurement by milk cooperatives in the organised sector.
The government is providing an interest subvention of two per cent per annum to cooperatives on working capital loans, the statement said. Also, an additional incentive of two per cent interest subvention is being given in case of timely repayment.
On the suggestion of the vice president, the secretary assured that the government would consider extending a similar facility to private dairies, it said. As reported in PTI News
Editorial Comment: Milk is an essential component of school milk programs across the globe. It is very popular in emerging countries. Milk may be served in UHT format, Yogurts or simply fresh pasteurized milk to the school kids. In India context milk powder may be provided which could be reconstituted at schools or may be used for making porridge . Anganwadis workers may be asked to make porridge and serve to the school going children. Our neighbouring country Nepal has out performed almost all the regional conuntries in terms of controlling mal nutrition in Kids. India still has a huge stunted population in children age groups especially below 5. Use of Skimeed milk powder for mide day meal program may also help in clearing the stocks of smp to give benefits to the dairy farmers also.