Centre to spend over Rs.6 bn on modernising abattoirs

August 22nd, 2008 - 9:51 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 22 (IANS) The government will spend Rs.6.28 billion on modernising abattoirs during the 11th Five Year Plan (2007-12), Food Processing Industries Minister Subodh Kant Sahai said here Friday.The minister said the funds would be utilized through the public-private partnership (PPP) route to upgrade infrastructure at the existing abattoirs.

“The government gave Rs.37.7 million as assistance to 17 seafood processing units for their modernisation in 2007-08,” Sahai said while inaugurating a three-day International Livestock and Dairy Expo (ILDEX) 2008 here Friday.

Over 100 exhibitors from India and more than 70 from Thailand, China, Indonesia, Britain, France, the US, Australia, Germany, Holland, Vietnam, Korea, the Philippines and several other countries are participating in the exhibition.

The minister said that livestock, an important segment of the agricultural sector in India, contributed nearly 23 percent of the agricultural gross domestic product.

Sahai said that his ministry would provide financial assistance to the dairy industry not only to upgrade infrastructure but also for research and development (R&D) programmes.

Terming dairy as a “treasure” of the Indian economy, Sahai said one milking animal provides annual employment ranging from 90 to 150 days.

“India possesses 16 percent of the world’s cattle population, 57 percent of buffalo and 20 percent of the entire bovine population, and accounts for 14.2 percent of the world’s milk production,” he said.

Pradeep Kumar, Secretary of Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairy and Fisheries, in the agriculture ministry, said: “India is gifted with a long coastline of 8,129 km, 2 million square km of exclusive economic zone, and 1.2 million hectares of brackish water bodies having a vast potential for development of fisheries.”

“The fisheries sector contributes only 1.4 percent to the agricultural gross domestic product, which is very low when compared to the potential of the country,” said Kumar.

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