Dairy Industry Current Affairs

Government bans imports of hormone oxytocin

The Union government has banned imports of hormone oxytocin to stop its misuse in livestock industry, where it causes hormonal imbalances and shortens the lives of milch animals. The Government has decided to rely on domestic production to satisfy requirements of hormone. It has asked customs officials to step up vigilance against those likely to try and smuggle oxytocin into India.

Background

India had halted retail sales of oxytocin as prescription-only drug in 2014, but failed to curb illegal sales and the volume of imports was unclear. Even, Drug Technical Advisory Board (DTAB) in February 2018 had recommended import ban of oxytocin. It also had recommended that sale be limited to registered government hospitals and clinics and bar code system should be used on all forms of drug to ensure tracking and prevent abuse. For adopting its recommendations, DTAB proposal had proposed amendments to section 10 of Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 and rule 96 of Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945.

Oxytocin

Oxytocin, often called love hormone, is released naturally in human bonding activities such as sex, childbirth and breastfeeding.  It is uterine stimulant hormone, prescribed for initiation of uterine contractions and induction of labour in women as well as stimulation of contractions during labour. It is also used to help abort fetus in cases of incomplete abortion or miscarriage, and control bleeding after childbirth. It may be used for breast engorgement.

Misuse

It is a controversial hormonal injection that is used widely in the dairy industry, agriculture and horticulture. The drug’s abuse in animals shortens their lives and makes them barren sooner. Even its misuse is reported among trafficked children, injected to accelerate puberty among girls. It is also being misused to speed up deliveries for pregnant women in overcrowded government hospitals.

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CCEA approves Dairy Processing & Infrastructure Development Fund

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved Dairy Processing & Infrastructure Development Fund (DIDF) Scheme with an outlay of Rs 10,881 crore to boost dairy sector.

It will be managed by National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) and shall be implemented from 2017-18 to 2028-29. Initially, Rs.8,004 crore loan will be provided by NABARD to National Dairy Development Board (NDDB)and National Dairy Development Cooperation (NDDC).

Key Facts

Under this scheme, NCDC and NDDC will be used to provide loan for building an efficient milk procurement system and other processing infrastructure. Loan will be provided for putting in place an efficient milk procurement system by setting up of chilling infrastructure and installation of electronic milk adulteration testing equipment. It will be also used for creation, modernisation and expansion of processing infrastructure and manufacturing faculties for value-added dairy products.

Beneficiaries: Initially, loan under DIDF will be given to 39 profit-making milk unions of 12 states. Other milk cooperatives can apply for loan under DIDF in subsequent years after they become eligible on basis of their net worth and profit levels. Milk unions, multi-state milk cooperatives, state dairy federations, milk producer companies and NDDB subsidiaries can also avail of loan after meeting the eligibility criteria.

Interest Rates: The loans under DIDF will have interest rate of 6.5% per annum with repayment period of 10 years with initial 2 years of moratorium. The state government will be guarantor of loan repayment. If the end user is not able to contribute its share for sanctioned project, state will contribute the same.

Benefits from DIDF: The investment in diary sector will benefit 95,00,000 farmers in about 50,000 villages. It will help for additional milk processing capacity of 126 lakh litre per day, milk chilling capacity of 140 lakh litre per day, milk drying capacity of 210 MT per day. It will also support installation of 28000 Bulk Milk Coolers (BMCs) along with electronic milk adulteration testing equipment and increase value added products manufacturing capacity of 59.78 lakh litre per day of milk equivalent.

Employment Generation Potential: The DIDF scheme will generate direct (40,000 people) and indirect employment opportunities (2 lakh) for skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled manpower on account of expansion of milk and milk product marketing operations.

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