The Rashtriya Gokul Mission was launched by government of India in the year 2014-15. It was launched for the conservation and development of indigenous breeds in a focus and scientific manner. The mission also aimed to establish integrated cattle development centres to develop indigenous breeds including 40% of nondescript (less important or having less features) breeds.
What is the need for such mission?
India is predominantly an agrarian economy. Livestock rearing has remained an integral part of traditional Indian economy. India has 190.9 million (2012) cattle livestock which is 14.5 % of the World cattle production. Around 80% of this i.e. 151 million are indigenous varieties.
- Cattles play a crucial role in national economy through supply of draught animal power, milk, organic manure and cow urine (has medicinal values).
- Susceptibility of cattle to tropical diseases.
- Indigenous breeds can be upgraded through cross-breeding for making them commercially viable.
- Sahiwal: Punjab
- Rathi: Rajasthan
- Tharpakar: Rajasthan
- Gir: Rajasthan
- Kankrej: Gujarat
- Many indigenous breeds are rapidly declining like Punganur, Vechur and Krishna valley that requires immediate attention.
Objectives of the Mission
- Development and conservation of indigenous breeds.
- Undertake breed improvement programme for indigenous cattle breeds to improve genetic makeup and increase the stock.
- Enhance milk production and productivity.
- Upgrade nondescript cattle using elite varieties of cattle.
- Develop bulls with free high genetic merit for natural service.
Main Components of the Scheme
- Establishment of GOKUL GRAMS
- These are proposed Integrated Indigenous Cattle Centres in the breeding tracts of indigenous breeds.
- Gukul Gram will be established in i) native breeding tracts. ii) near metropolitan cities (housing urban cattle).
- Gokul Gram will be self-sustaining. It will generate revenue from selling milk, organic manure, urine etc.
- Gokul Gram will also function as state of the art in-situ training centres for farmers and breeders.
- Gokul Grams function under SIA/EIAs in Private Public Partnership mode.
- Maintain 60:40 ratio of Milch to Unproductive animals.
- Formation of Gopalan Sangh
- Establishment of breeder societies and associations
- At present only few associations are working in Gujarat
- The association will do recording of animals, recommendation of breeds, standardisation and consultation.
- Awards to Farmers and Breeder Societies
Gopal Ratna Awards: To farmers maintaining the best herd of Indigenous breed(s) and adapting best practices.
Kamdhenu Awards: Best managed Indigenous herd by institutions/trusts/ NGOs/Gaushalas and Breeder societies.
State Implementing Agencies (SIAs)
- State Livestock Development Board
End Implementing Agencies (EIAs)
- State Livestock Development Boards
- State Animal Husbandry Departments
- State Milk Federations
- CFSP & TI, CCBFs
Participating Implementing Agencies (PIAs)
- ICAR, Universities, Colleges etc.
- On the basis of 100% grant-in-aid for eligible components
- Funds released to State Implementing Agencies
Achievements and Benefits
- Milk production in India was around 17-22 million tonnes in 1960s, has increased to 165.4 million tonnes during 2016-17.
- Milk production has witnessed 20.12% increase in the year 2016-17 alone.
- Per capita availability of milk has increased from 307 grams in 2013-14 to 355 grams in 2016-17.
- Under Rashtriya Gokul Mission (RGM) proposals worth 1348 Crores from 28 states have been approved.
- 18 Gokul Grams have been set up in 12 different states
- New Kamdhenu Breeding Centres started in Chintaladevi, Nellore (Southern Region) and Itarsi, Hoshangabad (Northern Region).
- Under RGM Rs. 825 crore National Bovine Productivity Mission was initiated in 2016 to make dairy business more profitable. A portal e-Pashuhaat has been developed to link milk producers and breeders.
Due to vigilantism the management and disposal of unproductive animals has become very difficult for the farmers.
Under RGM the proposal to do selective breeding and up-gradation of nondescript cattle by inseminating with ‘elite’ native bull is a departure from earlier strategy of cross-breeding with western breeds such as Jersey, Holstein. Friesian and Brown Swiss. This departure can have long term implications on both milk production and farmers income.
Remarks: Rashtriya Gokul Mission can play a major role in the success of Narendra Modi government’s National Action Plan on Dairy Development Vision – 2022. However, several aspects under this mission and plan require clarity and definitive action. If not managed properly the target of increasing milk producers’ income from Rs. 516 to Rs. 1697 per month may become a daunting task.
About the Author: Dr. S. Fazal Daoud Firdausi is an expert in Human Geography and teaches Geography GS & Optional at Competitive Examinations Centre, Savitribai Phule Pune University, Pune, India