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Indian Economy

Animal Husbandry and Dairying

  • 30 Jun 2023
  • 8 min read

For Prelims: Rashtriya Gokul Mission, milk, Kisan Credit Cards (KCC), soil-less cultivation

For Mains: Role of dairy and livestock sector in Indian economy, Related issues and Initiatives taken to promote the sector.

Why in News?

The Union Minister of Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Government of India recently highlighted the achievements and initiatives of the Department, emphasizing the importance of animal husbandry in boosting rural incomes and supporting agricultural diversification.

  • The Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying in India has undertaken significant initiatives in the past nine years to enhance productivity.

What are the Achievements in Animal Husbandry and Dairy?

  • Livestock Sector:
    • Livestock sector contributes significantly to the Indian economy, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.93% from 2014-15 to 2020-21.
    • The livestock sector's contribution to the total agriculture and allied sector Gross Value Added (GVA) has increased from 24.38% in 2014-15 to 30.87% in 2020-21.
    • Livestock population in India includes 303.76 million bovines, 74.26 million sheep, 148.88 million goats, 9.06 million pigs, and 851.81 million poultry as per 20th Livestock Census.
  • Dairy Sector:
    • Dairy is the largest agricultural commodity in India, contributing 5% to the national economy and employing over 8 crore farmers directly.
    • India ranks 1st in milk production, accounting for 23% of global milk production.
    • Milk production has increased by 51.05% in the past eight years, reaching 221.06 million tonnes in 2021-22.
    • Milk production is growing at the annual growth rate of 6.1% over the past 8 years whereas world milk production is growing at 1.2% per annum.
    • Per capita milk availability in India is 444 grams per day, surpassing the world average of 394 grams per day.
  • Egg and Meat Production:
    • India ranks 3rd in egg production and 8th in meat production globally.
    • Egg production has increased from 78.48 billion in 2014-15 to 129.60 billion in 2021-22, growing at a rate of 7.4% per annum.
    • Meat production has risen from 6.69 million tonnes in 2014-15 to 9.29 million tonnes in 2021-22.

What are Key Initiatives Taken to Enhance the Livestock Sector?

  • Rashtriya Gokul Mission:
    • Nationwide Artificial Insemination Programme: Over 5.71 crore animals covered, benefiting 3.74 crore farmers.
      • Artificial insemination is a novel method of bringing about impregnation in female breeds.
    • Promotion of IVF Technology: Production of viable embryos and birth of calves.
    • Sex Sorted Semen Production: Introduction of sex sorted semen with up to 90% accuracy for producing female calves.
      • Only female calves can be produced (with more than 90% accuracy) which will help double the growth rate of milk production in the country.
    • DNA-based Genomic Selection: Genotyping of animals for selection of elite indigenous breeds.
    • Animal Identification and Traceability: Identification and registration of 53.5 crore animals using unique identification label (UID) tags.
    • Progeny Testing and Pedigree Selection: Implemented for specific cattle and buffalo breeds.
    • National Digital Livestock Mission: Enhance livestock productivity, control diseases, and ensure quality for domestic and export markets.
    • Breed Multiplication Farms: Subsidy of 50% (up to Rs 2 crore per farm) on capital cost (excluding land cost) is provided to private entrepreneurs under this scheme for establishment of breed multiplication farms.
  • Supporting Dairy Cooperatives and Farmer Producer Organizations: Soft working capital loans are provided to assist dairy cooperative societies during adverse market conditions or natural calamities.
  • Dairy Processing & Infrastructure Development Fund (DIDF): Creation and modernization of milk processing, chilling, and value addition infrastructure.
  • National Livestock Mission: Direct subsidies to individuals, FPOs, and others to establish poultry farms, sheep and goat breed multiplication farms, piggery farms, and feed and fodder units.
  • Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund: Incentivizing investments for dairy and meat processing, animal feed plants, and breed improvement technology.
  • Livestock Health and Disease Control Programme:
    • Animals ear tagged: Approximately 25.04 crores.
    • Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) vaccination: 24.18 crore animals vaccinated in the second round, ongoing vaccination for Round III with 4.66 crore animals vaccinated.
    • Brucella vaccination: 2.19 crore animals vaccinated.
    • Mobile Veterinary Units (MVUs): 1960 MVUs flagged off in 16 States/UTs, with 1181 operational in 10 States.
  • Livestock Census & Integrated Sample Survey Scheme:
    • Integrated Sample Survey: Provides estimates of major livestock products (Milk, Egg, Meat, Wool) published in the Annual Publication of Basic Animal Husbandry Statistics (BAHS).
    • Livestock Census: Provides species-wise and breed-wise livestock population data at the household level in rural and urban areas.
      • 20th Livestock Census completed in 2019, with the publication of the "20th Livestock Census-2019" report containing species-wise and state-wise the population of livestock. Breed-wise reports on Livestock and Poultry were also published.
  • Kisan Credit Cards (KCC) for Dairy Farmers: More than 27.65 lakh fresh KCCs sanctioned for AHD farmers in milk cooperatives and milk producer companies.

What are the Challenges in Animal Husbandry and Dairying?

  • Disease management and animal health issues.
  • Availability and quality of feed and fodder.
  • Lack of modern infrastructure and technology.
  • Shortage of skilled personnel and veterinary services.
  • Financial constraints and limited access to credit.
  • Marketing and distribution challenges.

Way Forward

  • Strengthen veterinary services and infrastructure, promote vaccination programs and regular health check-ups, and enhance disease surveillance and early detection systems for livestock.
  • Promote cultivation of high-quality fodder crops, encourage adoption of modern techniques like hydroponics and silage production, and establish feed processing units for a consistent supply of quality feed.
    • Hydroponics is a soil-less cultivation method using nutrient-rich water, while silage production involves fermenting and preserving high-moisture fodder crops for livestock feed.
  • Upgrade and modernize livestock farms, dairy processing units, and veterinary clinics; promote adoption of advanced technologies, and invest in research and development.
  • Formulate and implement supportive policies and Provide incentives for investments in animal husbandry and dairying.

UPSC Civil Services Examination, Previous Year Question (PYQ)


Q.1 Consider the following crops of India: (2012)

  1. Cowpea
  2. Green gram
  3. Pigeon pea

Which of the above is/are used as pulse, fodder and green manure?

(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 2 only
(c) 1 and 3 only 
(d) 1, 2 and 3

Ans: (a)


Q.1 Livestock rearing has a big potential for providing non-farm employment and income in rural areas. Discuss suggesting suitable measures to promote this sector in India. (2015)

Source: PIB

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