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Indian Economy

India’s Livestock Sector

  • 20 Feb 2023
  • 7 min read

For Prelims: Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), Livestock Sector, Animal Husbandry, Economic Survey-2021, Gross Value Added, Dairy, LSD, One Health Approach.

For Mains: Status of India’s Livestock Sector, Issues Related to Livestock in India.

Why in News?

Recently, the Ceremony for Distribution of Animal Breed Registration Certificates organised by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) was concluded.

  • In the address,the Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister, has emphasised the importance of identifying the large number of indigenous livestock breeds in India to make the agriculture and animal husbandry sector prosperous.

What is the Status of India’s Livestock Sector?

  • About:
    • Animal husbandry has historically been an integral part of agriculture in India and is relevant today as a large section of society is actively engaged and dependent on it.
    • India is rich in livestock biodiversity and has developed many specific breeds adapted to various climatic conditions.
  • Contribution of Livestock in the Indian Economy:
    • The livestock sector grew at a CAGR of 7.9% during 2014-15 to 2020- 21 (at constant prices), and its contribution to total agriculture GVA (at constant prices) has increased from 24.3% in 2014-15 to 30.1% in 2020-21.
    • Besides their monetary benefit and providing a steady stream of food and revenues for households, livestock provide employment to the rural family, act as insurance during crop failures and the number of livestock owned by a farmer determines the social status among the community.
    • Dairy is the single-largest agri commodity in India. It contributes 5% to the national economy and employs 80 million dairy farmers directly.
  • Recognised Indigenous Livestock Species:
    • Recently, ICAR has registered 10 new breeds of livestock species. This has taken the total number of indigenous breeds to 212 as of January, 2023.
    • The ten new breeds of indigenous livestock species are -
      • Kathani cattle (Maharashtra), Sanchori cattle (Rajasthan) and Masilum cattle (Meghalaya);
      • Purnathadi buffalo (Maharashtra)
      • Sojat goat (Rajasthan), Karauli goat (Rajasthan) and Gujari goat (Rajasthan)
      • Banda pig (Jharkhand), Manipuri Black pig (Manipur) and Wak Chambil pig (Meghalaya).
  • Issues Related to Livestock in India:
    • Lack of Transparency:
      • Nearly half of the country's livestock is still unclassified. Also, Indian livestock product markets are mostly underdeveloped, uncertain, lack transparency and often dominated by informal market intermediaries.
    • Rising Animal Diseases:
      • There has been an increase in communicable diseases among animals. Most recent is the outbreak of lumpy skin disease (LSD) in cattle across various states of India.
    • Lack of Extension Services:
      • While the role of extension services in enhancing crop production and productivity is widely recognized, livestock extension never got the attention it deserves, and this has been one of the reasons for low productivity of India’s livestock sector.

What are the Government Schemes Related to Livestock Sector?

  • Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund (AHIDF): Under this scheme, the Central Government provides a 3% interest subvention to the borrower and credit guarantee up to 25% of total borrowing.
  • National Livestock Mission (NLM): This scheme has been restructured for 2021-22 to 2025-26.
    • The scheme focuses on entrepreneurship development and breeds improvement in poultry, sheep, goat and piggery, including feed and fodder development.
  • Livestock Health and Disease Control (LH&DC) Scheme: It is being implemented to supplement the State/UT governments efforts towards preventing, controlling and containing animal diseases of economic and zoonotic importance by vaccination.
  • National Animal Disease Control Programme (NADCP): It is being implemented to control Foot & Mouth Disease and Brucellosis by completely vaccinating cattle, buffalo, sheep, goat and pig populations against Foot & Mouth Disease and bovine female calves of 4-8 months of age against brucellosis.

How India can Enhance its Livestock Sector?

  • Registration of New Breeds: ICAR's mission to document all animal genetic resources in the country in collaboration with State Universities, Animal Husbandry Departments, NGOs, and others is a good step in this direction.
    • Also, the Department of Agricultural Research and Education (DARE) has started notifying all registered breeds in the Gazette since 2019 to claim sovereignty over these indigenous breeds.
  • Veterinary Ambulance Service and Compulsory Livestock Vaccination: In order to provide immediate primary treatment for injured animals, ambulance services should be expanded in veterinary hospitals.
    • In addition, livestock primary vaccination should be made mandatory, and regular veterinary surveillance should be conducted in a time-bound manner.
  • Towards One-Health Approach: There is a need to recognize One Health Approach and understand the interconnection between people, animals, plants, and their shared environment and encourage collaborations in research and sharing of knowledge at multiple levels across various disciplines like human health, animal health, plants, soil, environmental and ecosystem that can help in health sustainability and tackling zoonotic diseases as well.

UPSC Civil Services Examination, Previous Year Question (PYQ)


Q.1 Which of the following is the chief characteristic of ‘mixed farming’? (2012)

(a) Cultivation of both cash crops and food crops
(b) Cultivation of two or more crops in the same field
(c) Rearing of animals and cultivation of crops together
(d) None of the above

Ans: (c)


Q.2 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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