Livestock provides livelihood to two-third of rural community. Also, the sector contributes to around 4% of country’s GDP.
Dairy is the single-largest agri commodity in India. India is ranked 1st in milk production contributing 23% of global milk production.
There are about 303.76 million bovines (cattle, buffalo, mithun and yak), 74.26 million sheep, 148.88 million goats, 9.06 million pigs and about 851.81 million poultry as per 20th Livestock Census in the country.
According to Food and Agriculture Organization Corporate Statistical Database (FAOSTAT) production data (2020), India ranks 3rd in Egg Production and 8th in meat production in the world.
Inadequate Healthcare Infrastructure: Limited access to veterinary services and vaccines poses a threat to disease control, leading to frequent outbreaks that impact livestock productivity and quality of produce e.g., lumpy skin disease.
Climate Change and Environmental Pressures: Erratic weather patterns, water scarcity, and rising temperatures impact both feed and water availability, making livestock vulnerable to heat stress and related diseases.
A study by the National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI) found that heat stress reduced milk yield by 0.45 kg per cow per day during summer months in India.
Quality Breeding and Genetic Improvement: Livestock breeding in India often faces limitations in terms of access to quality breeding stock and genetic improvement programs.
According to the Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying (DAHD), only 30% of the breedable female bovines are covered under artificial insemination services in India.
Animal Welfare and Ethical Concerns: Ethical issues related to livestock farming, such as animal crueltyand inhumane practices, have gained increasing attention in recent years.
Government Initiatives Related to Livestock Sector: