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With pastures shrinking, India may be importing milk by 2021

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Bengaluru, February 24: India may have to import milk in four years, if it cannot increase fodder supply for its 299 million cattle, as rising pressure on land reduces pastures nationwide.

Spurred by rising incomes, a growing population and changing food preferences, the demand for milk and milk products will grow to at least 210 million tonnes by 2021-22, a rise of 36 per cent over five years, according to government estimates. To meet this demand, production must grow by 5.5 per cent per annum, according to the State of India’s Livelihood (SOIL) report. In 2014-15 and 2015-16, milk production grew at 6.2 per cent and 6.3 per cent, respectively.

To boost milk yield, India would need to generate 1,764 million tonnes of fodder by 2020, according to an IndiaSpend analysis of government data. But existing sources can only manage about 900 million tonnes of fodder — a shortage of 49 per cent.

Demand for private consumption has risen from five per cent per annum in the period 1998-2005 to 8.5 per cent per annum between 2005 and 2012, according to an Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, report.

This demand and supply gap has pushed up milk prices by an average of 16 per cent per annum, according to the 2015 SOIL report.

In the decade to 2015, milk production went up 59 per cent from 92 million tonnes to 146 million tonnes in 2015. But fodder shortages may knock India off its position as the world’s top milk producer (it contributes nearly 17 per cent of global production).

The milk productivity of India’s livestock is less than half (48 per cent) of the global average: 987 kg per lactation compared to the global average of 2,038 kg per lactation.

The availability and quality of fodder has a direct bearing on the quantity and quality of milk productivity, the data show. All the three states that topped milk productivity in terms of gram per day — Rajasthan (704), Haryana (877) and Punjab (1,032) — had earmarked more than 10 per cent of their cultivable land for pastures, according to the 2015 SOIL report. The national average is 337.

Currently, all three types of fodder are in short supply — green (63 per cent), dry (24 per cent) and concentrates (76 per cent). Only four per cent of total cultivable land in India is used for fodder production, a proportion that has remained stagnant for the last four decades.

Considering the demand for milk, land under fodder production needs to be doubled, according to a December 2016 report of the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture.

Shortages are forcing states to now source fodder from elsewhere. “The quality of fodder is a concern. We are now looking to source fodder from Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh),” said Sudhir Mishra, who runs a dairy farm in Ranchi (Jharkhand).

But major portions of grazing lands have either been degraded or encroached upon, according to the Parliamentary Committee report.

However, the availability of crop residues, the largest single source of fodder, has been impacted by increasing pressure on land and the replacement of traditional cereal crops, especially coarse ones. Crop residue includes coarse and fine straws, leguminous and pulses straws.

Given the importance of food and cash crops, it is very unlikely that the area under fodder cultivation will increase substantially, the parliamentary committee report said.

“If India fails to achieve substantial production growth, the country would need to resort to significant imports from the world market which has the potential to cause prices to spurt since India is a large consumer,” said 2015 SOIL report

To cut costs, easy access to fodder is important for small farmers

Feed cost constitutes about 60-70 per cent of operating expenses on dairy farms. Nearly 70 per cent of India’s milk production comes from small and marginal farmers, who depend on homegrown fodder. Unlike big operators like Mishra, they cannot afford to buy fodder from other states.

Take the case of Dundappa Patil, a 10th-class pass from Belagavi in North Karnataka, who took a loan of Rs 35,000 for dairy farming eight years ago.

The process of applying and getting a loan for the enterprise was simple and quick because Patil was covered by a scheme for unemployed youth in Karnataka. He went through a crash course in dairy farming in Belagavi and in less than a month, set up business with four buffalo.

Patil’s target was to sell 20 litres of milk every day to a local cooperative society. But the yield per buffalo on Patil’s farm was less than 2 litres a day; his buffalo produced less than half the milk he hoped they would.

“I realised that just buying a good buffalo was not enough, quality and quantity of fodder too had to be good,” he said. “You have to be ready to spend a lot of time and money on sourcing fodder.”

Patil said he and other villagers were using a common pasture on a hill 5 km from the village. “But that is seasonal and not enough for the all the village cattle,” he said.

So, he tried buying the fodder, but then the business did not look viable.

The contribution of livestock to the incomes of landless and small farmers ranges between 20-50 per cent, and the poorer the family, the greater the potential of dairy farming’s contribution to livelihood, according to the SOIL report.

Unlike agriculture, which tends to be seasonal, dairy farming provides returns through the year. It can minimise the risks agricultural households face when they run short of cash.

In Belagavi, that scenario did not work for Patil because he could not overcome the fodder shortage — an issue India must address if it is to be self-sufficient in milk and dairy farming is to succeed.

Eventually, after a year, Patil sold the buffalo and repaid half the loan. The bank waived the rest after failing to recover it. Today, he is a construction worker in Belagavi city.

By Gangadhar S. Patil (IANS, Indiaspend.org) 

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Israel PM recreates ‘Oscar’ Moment, poses with Bollywood Celebs

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Mumbai, Jan 19: Recreating the viral ‘Oscar selfie’, which featured several Hollywood stars in one picture, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on Thursday night, posed with Bollywood actors as a sign of the “great friendship” between India and Israel.

Netanyahu was at the ‘Shalom Bollywood’ event in Mumbai, where top stars from the industry were present, including Amitabh Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai, Abhishek Bachchan, and filmmaker Karan Johar.

Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu met 26/11 survivor Moshe Holtzberg at Nariman House. He also laid wreath at the memorial to 26/11 terror attack victims at Taj Hotel in Mumbai on Thursday morning.

 

Baby Moshe is currently in India, for his first visit back since the 26/11 attacks.

Netanyahu Addressed the India-Israel Business Summit and spoke about how two nations that are as focused on innovation as India and Israel , should come together to “define the future” at the India-Israel Summit he was addressing in Mumbai on Thursday, reports ANI.

Israeli Prime Minister had a packed schedule for the last leg of his India visit. Israel PM met with several Indian CEOs in Mumbai on Thursday morning, where he said that the “future belongs to those who innovate”.

Later in the day he will pay tributes to the 2008 Mumbai terror attack victims. There will be a wreath-laying ceremony at the Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai, following which he will visit Nariman House and the Chabad Centre.

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and his wife Sara, reached Mumbai on Wednesday evening as per schedule, after being received by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Ahmedabad in the morning.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Israeli counterpart Netanyahu along with wife Sara on Wednesday inaugurated ‘iCreate’, an autonomous centre for budding entrepreneurs and start-ups, in Deo Dholera Village, Ahmedabad .

The visit assumes significance given Israel’s reputation as being the global hub for start-ups. The Israeli prime minister also presented Modi a special gift — the Gal-Mobile water desalinisation and purification jeep the two leaders rode at Israel’s Olga beach last year.

The two leaders to a traditional reception at Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad after an 8-km roadshow from the airport. Netanyahu, known as Bibi in Israel, and his wife Sara also tried their hand at the iconic Charkha as Modi looked on.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and wife Sara visited the Taj Mahal on Tuesday afternoon after a brief meeting with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. They stayed at the Taj Complex for a few hours, posed for photos and learnt about the 17th century monument.

The Israeli Prime Minister first dropped in at a five-star hotel in Agra from where he directly went to see the Taj. The couple are expected to return to Delhi to take part in the Raisina Dialogue, in which Netanyahu is scheduled to deliver an inaugural speech at 4:30 pm.

Tight security arrangements have been made for the VVIP visit and the Taj, the ivory white marble mausoleum on the south bank of the Yamuna, will be closed for common visitors till the Israeli Prime Minister leaves.

No car or person was allowed to be in a periphery of 500 metres around the Taj since morning.

On Monday, India and Israel signed nine MoUs, including key bilateral agreements in cyber cooperation, film cooperation, science and technology. Speaking on Monday at the joint press conference, featuring the two leaders, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said: “My good friend, Bibi welcome to India, your visit marks a special beginning to our New Year calendar.”

Reciprocating the gesture, Netanyahu called PM Narendra Modi a revolutionary leader and said:” With Modi, I feel like I am in a rock concert. The Israeli premier said the Jews of India never experienced anti-semitism in 2,000 years.

India-Israel MOUs

India and Israel sign MOU on – cooperation in oil and gas sector, a protocol on amendments to air transport agreement, agreement on film co-production, field research in homoeopathic medicine, cooperation in the field of space, letter of intent to invest in India, cooperation in metal battery and cooperation in solar thermal energy.

The Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu met President Ram Nath Kovind at Rashtrapati Bhavan on Monday Evening around 6 pm.

Updates:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu  holded bilateral talks at Delhi’s Hyderabad House on Monday.

Earlier on Monday, Benjamin Netanyahu has been given a ceremonial reception at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, after which Israel PM and wife Sara Paid tribute to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat.

Netanyahu will be accompanied by his wife Sara as they will leave for Agra to see Taj Mahal on Tuesday. On the same day, he will visit Delhi and participate in the Raisina Dialogue, where he is scheduled to deliver an inaugural speech.

Netanyahu will leave for Ahmedabad on the fourth day of his tour and visit the Sabarmati Ashram. The minister will also attend an event at the International Centre for Entrepreneurship and Technology. He will later visit the Centre of Excellence, Vadrad. After which, the minister will leave for Mumbai.

On Thursday, Netanyahu will have a power breakfast with Indian CEOs and attend a business seminar. He will also lay a wreath at Taj Hotel Mumbai and pay a visit to Nariman House – Chabad Centre.

He will also reach out to Bollywood personalities in an exclusive ‘Shalom Bollywood’ event, that aims at exploring business opportunities for Indian filmmakers in Israel.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi set aside protocol to receive his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu, who arrived in New Delhi for a historic six-day visit. Modi welcomed Netanyahu with a hug upon his arrival. According to Israeli officials, Netanyahu was pleasantly surprised by Modi welcoming him at the airport. “I very much appreciate the gesture,” Netanyahu was quoted as saying by officials.

A smiling Modi embraced Netanyahu and then shook hands both with him and his wife as they stepped on the red carpet at the airport here.

They both then arrived at Teen Murti Chowk, received by Army Chief General Bipin Rawat and Foreign Secy S Jaishankar on Sunday.

 

Delhi’s Teen Murti Chowk has been renamed Teen Murti Haifa Chowk by PM Modi and his Israeli counterpart Netanyahu. The renaming was done in memory of the supreme sacrifice by Indian soldiers to liberate Haifa in Israel in 1918.

Netanyahu who is accompanied by his wife had a brief conversation with Swaraj after renaming the Teen Murti Haifa Chowk in the capital.

This is the first visit to India by an Israeli Prime Minister since Ariel Sharon came in 2003

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India shouldn’t replicate China’s urbanisation models: NITI Aayog VC

Given India’s diversity, it cannot afford “inequitable and unbalanced urbanisation, said Niti Aayog VC Rajiv Kumar

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Instead of replicating foreign models that may lead to inequitable and unbalanced urbanisation, India needs to create growth hubs across the country, NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar said on Thursday.

Given India’s diversity, it cannot afford “inequitable and unbalanced urbanisation”, he said.

“It’s unfortunate that we continuously look for foreign models…

We cannot let India replicate what China has done,” Rajiv Kumar said during the national workshop on “Municipal Finance and Effective & Accelerated Implementation of Smart Cities” here.

He said that development in China had happened only along the coastline whereas other areas had remained backward, forcing millions of people to move inward to their homelands during the Chinese New Year and India cannot have millions of people moving from one part of the nation to the other on festivals like Diwali or Holi.

“To minimise the presence of dualistic structure and to connect villages with all the urban facilities, we need to introduce the concept of ‘rurban’,” he said.

“In order to empower our cities, we need economic-political legitimacy, technologically smart solutions and intellectual legitimacy,” he added.

“Unless we make our cities generators of India, we won’t get intellectual legitimacy.”

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Skilling enterprises, start-up developers key to India’s digital dream: IBM

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With digital transformation comes the daunting task of preparing a workforce for technologies like Big Data, Cloud, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) that can address the massive demand coming from governments and businesses in India.

According to a top IBM executive, the time is ripe to start the journey right from schools and universities, leading to up-skilling and re-skilling the enterprise and start-up developers’ community in the country.

Between 2010 and 2030, India’s working population is expected to expand from 750 million to almost one billion.

Image result for artificial intelligence digital transformation ibm

“Without adequate education and training, such population growth poses an increased risk of the emergence of a growing class of under or unemployed. Skill is emerging as the new currency across businesses globally and in India,” Seema Kumar, Country Leader, Developer Ecosystem and Start-ups, IBM India/South Asia, told IANS.

“We believe the industry is no more bifurcated into blue-collar and white-collar jobs. The ‘new collar’ job community is embracing technology rapidly, forging deeper relationships with ecosystem partners and acquiring ‘in-demand’ skill-sets,” Kumar emphasised.

Sensing the urgent need to build a talent pool for the future, IBM recently announced a collaboration with the Telecom Sector Skill Council (TSSC) to spur emerging technology skills in the domestic telecom industry.

The agreement outlines a roadmap to build capabilities in the areas of information and communication technology (ICT) to provide the required and relevant skills for the telecom Industry.

“This collaboration will provide an opportunity to students and young professionals to get skilled in emerging technologies including Big Data, Cloud Computing, IoT and mobile applications that have a huge potential in the telecom sector,” Kumar said.

IBM’s student developers’ programme (career education) that infuses software capabilities that are industry specific and market relevant has helped more than 24,000 students and faculty members develop industry-relevant software capabilities.

Developers are the new marketers and decision-makers across organisations and it has become imperative to make them the centre of the core strategy.

“We also have collaboration with US-based Galvanize and Coursera to offer cognitive and Cloud curriculum to developers to help them equip with new age requirements around data science and Machine Learning (ML), etc,” the IBM executive said.

In 2017, IBM organised “IBM DeveloperConnect Roadshow” in Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad where it offered day-long workshops that combined technical sessions and hands-on activities, led by technical experts from IBM around data science, ML and Cloud.

“We are going to organise the ‘IBM Code’ day for developers in Bengaluru on February 14 which is another step towards introducing the developer community to IBM technologies,” Kumar told IANS.

IBM also has an online learning platform Cognitiveclass.ai that offers several online courses in the area of data science, AI, big data and Blockchain.

“We also work with external Edtech partners who offer structured courses and curriculum based on these technologies. For instance, Jigsaw Academy is leveraging the IBM Data Science experience platform and CognitiveClass.ai to offer advanced customised learning to students and professionals on data science,” Kumar noted.

Similarly, GlobalKnowledge is a training partner offering detailed courses on Cloud and cognitive development, also enabling professional certifications in these domains.

“Today, we are witnessing start-ups adopting Cloud at a fast pace, looking at creating enterprise class solutions and use best practices at a competitive cost, more agile systems and greater efficiency,” Kumar said.

IBM Cloud Private is an integrated Cloud platform built on a Kubernetes-based container architecture.

It is a pre-packaged offering with enterprise-grade content, bringing Cloud native environment to Private Clouds so that start-ups can maintain control over core data while giving developers the flexibility to easily update and launch new apps in a secure manner.

“We foresee start-ups in the FinTech, e-commerce and HealthTech space leveraging IBM Cloud Private for on-premises software portfolio or easily integrate next-generation data and software optimised for Cloud,” Kumar added.

By : Nishant Arora

(Nishant Arora can be contacted at [email protected])

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