Millennium Post

Protein-rich nation Modi’s top priority

Protein-rich nation Modi’s top priority
In a high-level meeting chaired by the prime minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday, essential commodities like protein-rich food were discussed. Modi took stock of the demand-supply gap in protein-rich food items such as milk, egg and fish and the availability of fertilisers in the backdrop of rising inflation, which could be aggravated by the likelihood of a sub-normal monsoon.

The Modi-led government is keen on addressing these issues, which were side-lined by the former UPA government, said sources. Inflation was the major reason which led to the Congress-led government being routed in the recent elections.

Modi, during the meet, was briefed about the current availability of protein-rich items and steps to increase supplies by officials of the department of animal husbandry and dairying, sources said. The meeting was attended by, among others, consumer affairs, food and public distribution minister Ram Vilas Paswan, water resources minister Uma Bharati, fertiliser minister Anant Kumar and agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh.

‘In today’s meeting, only two departments - animal husbandry and fertiliser - made presentations. Our departments will make presentations next time,’ said Paswan. The department of animal husbandry and dairying said in its presentation that there was a supply-demand gap in some animal protein foods and stressed the need to promote artificial insemination and other technologies to boost animal yields, sources said.

The shortage of fodder and steps needed to improve the distribution of seeds for fodder cultivation were also discussed, they said. Sources said the issue related to the demand-supply situation of soil nutrients, their prices and subsidy burden on the government was discussed.

The government announced host of measures on Tuesday to tame inflation, which soared to a five-month high of 6.01 percent in May. Egg, meat and fish prices rose 12.47 percent last month, while milk jumped 9.57 percent.

The Centre asked states to crack down on hoarders and delist fruits and vegetables from the Agricultural Produce Market Committee list, allowing farmers to sell their produce directly in the open market. The government also imposed a minimum export price of USD 300 per tonne on onions to curb their exports and decided to release an additional 50 lakh tonnes of rice to states for sale in the open market.
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