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Webinar: Dairy Industry during Covid-19 and beyond



Summary

The webinar held by the Agrovision Foundation at 11 am on April 18, 2020, was well attended by senior representatives of both the public and the private sectors. Setting the tone for the discussion, Moderator Ms. Vibha Bhatia of the MMActiv SciTech Communications explained the idea of this webinar on 'Impact of COVID 19 on Dairy Sector and road ahead. The webinar has been organised to provide a perspective on the situation, understand current issues of Dairy Sector and the way forward. Ms. Bhatia gave a brief introduction of all the eminent participants invited for the webinar:

• Prof A K Misra, Chairman, Agricultural Scientists Recruitment Board (ASRB), New Delhi
• Mr R S Sodhi, Managing Director, GCMMF, Anand
• Mr Arun Raste, Executive Director, NDDB
• Dr. Manmohan Singh Chauhan, Director, National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI)
• Dr Bhupendra Nath Tripathi, Deputy Director General, Division of Animal Science, ICAR
• Dr Ashish Paturkar, Vice Chancellor, MAFSU
• Dr J V Parekh, International Dairy Consultant
• Mr Arun Patil, Chairman, Indian Dairy Association (IDA), West Zone

Ms Vibha Bhatia introduced Dr C D Mayee, Chairman, Agrovision Advisory Council and Mr Ravi Boratkar, President, Agrovision Foundation.

Dr C D Mayee in his opening speech overall reviewed the situation of dairy sector in India and abroad. In his speech Dr Mayee further added the impact of COVID 19 on overall agriculture sector including horticulture. The Dairy in India is a 1 lakh cr industry, in the countries like Canada, US the situation is not different, and Canadian Govt has asked the milk producers to dump the milk so that they will get money from the Govt.

In India, milk demand has been dropped by 30% down as the bulk milk buyers like hotels, Dhabas, Mithai Shops and others are closed due to lockdown. Dairy sector and milk producers especially farmers are suffering the impacts of COVID 19. Dr Mayee appreciated the efforts; the dairy sector is taking by converting milk into non-perishable products like Milk Powder, Butter etc. This will help the sector post COVID 19.

The impact of Covid-19 on Dairy Sector was discussed in the webinar. The experts' advices and points were noted

• Govt is helping cooperative dairy sector: However, private sector plays important role in dairy which is almost 50-50 compared to cooperative sector. Govt should support Private Sector by providing finance schemes at cheaper rate.

• Govt should buy stock of SMP and butter from dairies to help dairies to convert more SMP and butter from milk. This will help small milk producers to produce milk and dairies to procure milk from producer will continue.

• GST should be reduced during and post COVID period

• GOVT to announce Working capital for cooperative dairies, Federations and unions

• During and Post COVID conditions of Dairy Sector, problems of milk distribution,

• Packaging and Dairy Machinery industry

• Hygiene/ sanitization precautions during COVID 19 at dairy

• Corona does not affect cattle, sheep and Goat. However, pets get affected through owners or care takers

• Focus on animal as factory of production in terms of healthcare artificial insemination Poor semen problem for quality breeding. Synchronisation for quality insemination. Incentives from Govt for quality feed to animals which will help for sustainable productivity next year.

In the closing remarks Mr Ravi Boratkar Organizing Secretary Agrovision Foundation thanked all participants for their valuable contribution and suggestions. The webinar covered almost all the areas of Dairy sector i.e from production to marketing. Mr Boratkar appealed the experts invited and also others to send the suggestions for the betterment Dairy sector situation.

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