KOCHI, Jun 26: The IDF Regional Dairy Conference Asia Pacific 2024 will provide a platform for global scientific minds to address critical issues affecting the dairy sector, state animal husbandry and dairy development minister Gabriel D Wangsu said on Wednesday.

The three-day international conference, organized by the National Dairy Development Board, was inaugurated by Kerala animal husbandry minister J Chinchurani.

"Dairy has evolved significantly with new technologies replacing traditional methods, contributing to the growth of the sector and allied industries," Wangsu said in his inaugural address.

Highlighting dairy's role in the GDP and national income, Wangsu noted that the sector is key for employment generation, economic sustainability, and maintaining the food supply chain, aligning with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

"Milk production is growing steadily, but per animal yield and productivity remains a concern that require technical intervention and scientific innovations," he said.

Wangsu emphasized the socio-economic impact of dairying in rural areas, particularly in empowering women with sustainable employment opportunities.

The conference will focus on topics like dairy sustainability, climate action, women's role in dairying, and support for innovation and marketing. The discussions are expected to lead to new innovations in the industry.

Key attendees like Alka Upadhyaya and Varsha Joshi from the Government of India, National Dairy Development Board chairman Dr Meenesh Shah, IDF president Pierchristiano Brazzle, IDF secretary general Laurence Rycken, and FAO India representative Takayuki Hagiwara attended the inaugural session.

Wangsu was accompanied by Animal Husbandry, Veterinary & Fisheries secretary Hage Tari, and other officials from the department.