NEW DELHI: Aiming to double farmers’ income in the next five years, the Centre is chalking out a national action plan to attract more foreign investment in the dairy sector.

The Department of Animal Husbandry under the aegis of Agriculture Ministry is holding a series of discussion with private players in this regard.

“We are preparing a national action plan to boost FDI in dairy sector. We want FDI in this sector in such a format that our farmers are benefited and their income goes up,” Animal Husbandry Secretary Devendra Chaudhury told PTI.

The plan is to increase foreign investment in the dairy sector in the next five years from the current level of around Rs 141 crore, he said.

Last week, the department held the first round of discussion on the issue with private players including Amul, Mother Dairy, Paras and others.

Chaudhury said these companies have been asked to submit their inputs on the issue within two weeks, which will be again deliberated in the next meeting.

At present, FDI is allowed in most aspects of dairy sector, including machines and equipment. Recently, the government relaxed norms for FDI in animal husbandry by allowing research in non-controlled conditions as well.

The government, which is aiming to double farmers’ income by 2022, wants to supplement farm income by focusing on allied activities of agriculture like dairy, poultry and fishery.

For instance, the government has decided to spend Rs 110 crore this financial year under the National Programme for Dairy Development to expand milk procurement mechanism at village level for the benefit of farmers.

It is also focusing on increasing the milk productivity of cows and buffaloes, for which the government has set aside Rs 104 crore for the current fiscal on breeding programme.

Milk output in India, the world’s leading producer, was around 146.3 million tonnes in 2014-15.