BHUBANESWAR: Union Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan has said the Union Agriculture Ministry has advised the State Government to include milk as a food item in mid-day meals in schools and Anganwadi centres.
Pradhan said Union Agriculture Minister Radhamohan Singh has informed this in a letter. Singh’s letter was in response to a letter from Pradhan requesting him to take steps for solving the problems faced by milk farmers of the State.
Singh informed Pradhan that under the Dairy Entrepreneurship Development Scheme, milk farmers of general category get 25 per cent subsidy on their loan while farmers belonging to scheduled castes and scheduled tribes categories are eligible for subsidy of 33.33 per cent.
Pradhan hoped that State milk farmers will benefit from the scheme.
Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra Governments have already included milk in mid-day meal and ICDS. Pradhan said as high infant mortality rate (IMR) and malnutrition continue to be major problem in Odisha, inclusion of milk as a food item in Government schemes will be big a step forward.