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Advancing the Future of Livestock, Dairy, and Fisheries - Feature

Advancing the Future of Livestock, Dairy, and Fisheries

Advancing the Future of Livestock, Dairy, and Fisheries

HITEX Exhibition Centre, Hyderabad, took center stage, serving as the heart of India’s Livestock, Dairy, and Fisheries (LDF) industry, from September 21-23, 2023. This eagerly awaited event ‘LDF India’ Expo and Knowledge Conclave, was organized by HITEX and Aqua Farming Technologies and Solutions (AFTS). Spanning three days, it was a jubilant affair dedicated to spotlighting the substantial advantages, industry strengths, and export prospects within the LDF sector.

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LDF India aimed to serve as a one-stop platform for the post-harvest processes of the Livestock, Dairy, and Fisheries industries. It allowed exhibitors from around the country to showcase diverse options for buyers and end-users. The event was held at HITEX Exhibition Centre alongside a dedicated conference facility for 250 delegates.

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Over 75 exhibitors from all corners of the country showcased their products and services and made live demonstrations of processing and value-added techniques, providing attendees with real-time insights. The event served as a B2B platform for post-harvesting technology, connecting suppliers, buyers, and end-users, fostering valuable networking opportunities.

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Seminars and workshops led by industry experts on the latest technologies offered crucial insights into industry-specific trends and practices. Interactive sessions on policy advocacy, market access, and regulatory compliance provided a platform to address key industry issues and collaborate on solutions. The concurrent conference featured industry experts who provided valuable insights into the latest technologies and industry trends, making it a holistic learning experience.

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Inaugural Grandeur
The event was inaugurated with great pomp and ceremony by esteemed personalities including Dr Tarun Shridhar, Former Union Secretary—AHD, Govt of India, Member, Central Administrative Tribunal; Dr L Narasimha Murthy, Chief Executive I/c & Senior Executive Director, National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB); Susheela Chintala, Chief General Manager, NABARD, Telangana; D Chandra Sekhar, IEDS, Additional Development Commissioner; and WVR Reddy, IAS.
Dr Shridhar emphasized the need for a dedicated expo on LDF, highlighting that the livestock sector often lacks the recognition it deserves. He expressed hope that it would soon be on par with global giants like Boston SeaFoods.
Dr Murthy commended the resilience of the livestock sector, which thrived even during the challenges posed by the pandemic, achieving impressive 8 to 9 percent growth. India recorded a record fish production of 174 lakh tonnes in 2022-23, with seafood exports reaching INR 63,960 crore. He also pointed out the importance of the Ground Accident Insurance Scheme, which covers 33.86 lakh fisheries annually.

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Chintala highlighted the significance of livestock products in the context of India's position at 107 out of 121 on the World Hunger Index. With over 70 percent of the population consuming meat, she emphasized the need to meet the projected demand of 18.1 million tonnes and per capita meat consumption of 13.8 kg by 2050.

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Collaboration Matters
This event brought together key players and institutions dedicated to advancing the LDF sector.  Partners included the ICAR – National Meat Research Institute, a premier institution in meat research; the National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB), which focuses on sustainable fisheries development; the National Bank for Agricultural & Rural Development (NABARD), committed to sustainable agriculture; the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), a vital Government body for export trade promotion; and the Government of Telangana. 
A total of 70 companies from 9 states participated in the exhibition, showcasing a wide array of products related to Livestock, Dairy, and Fisheries. Exhibitors covered aspects such as processing technology, packaging technology and materials, safety and quality management, conveying, transport, and storage facilities, waste management, and a variety of meat, dairy, and fish products.
The Expo attracted visitors from diverse backgrounds, including marine product growers, processors, farmers, retailers, distributors, and industry professionals. These attendees had the opportunity to explore the latest advancements in sourcing, processing technology, logistics, warehousing, packaging, equipment, and technology, keeping them at the forefront of industry trends.

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Setting the Tone
The conference kicked off with an opening address by the Founding Partner of LDF India.  Dr Shridhar provided a comprehensive overview of the LDF sector’s current landscape and the roadmap ahead. The day continued with enlightening talks, including Shirish Dhopeshwar’s insights into Poultry Waste Management Solutions, Sathish Kumar’s discussion on hygiene and safety risks in the industry, and Dr Dhanaraj’s innovative approach to Live Microalgae in the livestock industry.
Dr Murthy shared valuable insights into policies and opportunities in Fisheries and Aquaculture. The first half of the session concluded with a vote of thanks, networking lunch, and the inauguration of Expo Booths. Chintala delved into promoting rural entrepreneurship in the LDF sector, and Dr Satyen Panda, Chief Advisor, FSSAI, shed light on food safety and quality standards. The day ended with a lively panel discussion featuring industry perspectives for the LDF sector.

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Navigating the Waters
Immense focus was given on the Fisheries sector. Dr C Suvarna, Former Chief Executive, NFDB, provided insights into the Indian fisheries and aquaculture sector. Dr Ravishankar, Director & Vice Chancellor, ICAR-
CIFE, discussed innovations in fish processing, and Sathish Kumar, Director, NEROKEM, highlighted the importance of a scientific approach to hygiene in food industries. A panel discussion explored ways to enhance domestic fish consumption, emphasizing the need to boost domestic demand for fish products.

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In the Dairy session, Meenesh C Shah, Managing Director, NDDB, shared the status of the Indian Dairy Sector. A panel discussion on innovations in dairy products and processing for competitive domestic and international markets highlighted the dairy industry’s potential for growth. NSN Bhargav, Senior Vice President, Indian Immunologicals, spoke about animal health management. The day concluded with inspiring stories of successful startups in the LDF sector, showcasing the entrepreneurial spirit and innovation in this field.
The Final Frontier
The final day of the conference featured two distinct sessions. The Livestock Session by ICAR-NMRI explored post-harvest and marketing scenarios. Dr SR Barbuddhe, Director, ICAR-NRMI, Hyderabad, highlighted the role and achievements of ICAR NMRI in the development of the Indian meat sector. Dr P Baswa Reddy, Principal Scientist, ICAR-NRMI, delved into the exploration of possibilities to increase meat production potential. 
Dr BM Naveena, Principal Scientist, ICAR-NRMI, shared insights on enhancing opportunities in meat processing. Additionally, Dr M Muthukumar, Principal Scientist, ICAR-NRMI, focused on nurturing entrepreneurship within the meat sector through policies and ecosystem development. A panel discussion on the industry perspective in livestock brought together experts to discuss the future of this crucial sector, concluding the first session.
The second session, organized by the Telangana Food Processing Society, focused on opportunities for the LDF sector in Telangana. Akhil Gawar, Director, TSFPS, shared insights into Telangana’s Food Processing Revolution. A panel discussion on special food processing zones and Telangana’s Blue Revolution emphasized the state’s potential in the LDF sector.
The LDF India Annual Conference 2023 concluded on a high note, leaving attendees with a wealth of knowledge, innovative ideas, and a clearer vision for the future of the Livestock, Dairy, and Fisheries sector in India. This event underscored the importance of collaboration, innovation, and sustainable practices in shaping the future of the LDF industry. 
The conference sessions covered a wide range of topics, including meat production potential, meat processing, entrepreneurship in the meat sector, and industry perspectives
in livestock.