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Agriculture

Animal Rearing

  • 30 Sep 2019
  • 8 min read

Why in News?

National Animal Disease Control Programme (NADCP)

The following are the aims of NADCP programme:

  • To vaccinate over 600 million cattle in the country in an effort to mitigate the above mentioned diseases.
  • To aim at vaccinating 36 million female bovine calves annually in its fight against the brucellosis disease.
  • To control the livestock diseases by 2025, and eradicate by 2030.

The livestock that will be covered under the programme includes cattle, buffalo, sheep, goats, and pigs against the FMD and it will be fully funded by the Central government.

What is Animal/Livestock Rearing?

  • Animal rearing is considered an associate business with agricultural activities in rural India. Animal husbandry is an integral component of Indian agriculture, supporting livelihood of almost 55% of the rural population.
  • India is the highest livestock owner of the world.
  • The livestock sector alone contributes nearly 25.6% of value of output at current prices of total value of output in agriculture, fishing & forestry sector. The overall contribution of livestock sector in total GDP is nearly 4.11% at current prices during 2012-13, as per the 19th livestock census of 2012.
  • The objective of animal rearing is to make the livestock useful for human beings for a variety of purposes, many of which have an economic value. Therefore, it has a big potential for providing non-farm employment and income in rural areas.

Significance of Animal Rearing

  • It is well recognized that humans depend upon animals for income, employment, food, social security, fuel (dung cakes), cultural aspects and a variety of other reasons.
  • The animal production system in India is principally part of a mixed crop-livestock farming system and important for the security and survival of large number of poor populace.
  • This production system assumes special significance in economic growth, increasing income, increasing urbanization, changes in taste and preference that have led to nutritional changes reflecting the importance of milk, meat, egg and fish in the daily diets of the people.
  • Animal rearing has multidimensional potential. For instance, Operation Flood, launched in 1970, helped dairy farmers direct their own development, increased milk production ("a flood of milk"), augmented rural incomes and ensuring reasonable prices for consumers

Key to Poverty Reduction Strategies

  • It provides self-employment to millions of people especially rural households.
  • It has contributed significantly to the empowerment of women and has increased their income and role in society.
  • It is a major risk mitigation approach for small and marginal farmers, particularly across the rain-fed regions of India.
  • It is at the centre of poverty alleviation programs from equity and livelihood standpoints.
  • It is faster than many other sectors of agriculture and continuing this trend will contribute as main sector for development of Indian economy.
  • Livestock productivity has been identified as one of the seven sources of income growth by the Inter-Ministerial Committee under the government’s target of doubling of farmers’ income by the year 2022.

The Government has constituted an Inter-Ministerial Committee under the Chairmanship of Chief Executive Officer, National Rainfed Area Authority, Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare to examine issues relating to doubling of farmers’ income and recommend a strategy to achieve doubling of farmers’ income in real terms by the year 2022.

Constraints of Livestock Development

  • Incapability of central and state governments to deliver the promised and expected results.
  • Non-availability of superior quality breeding bulls.
  • Poor quality of semen produced by many of the laboratories.
  • Inadequate skills of paravets resulting in poor conception and infertility.
  • Inadequate support for paravets for supply of liquid nitrogen, frozen semen, health care and technical guidance.
  • Shortage of fodder resources.
  • Absence of field oriented conservation strategy for indigenous breeds.
  • Lack of coordination among various agencies engaged in livestock husbandry.
  • Poor extension services to motivate small farmers to adopt dairy husbandry for income generation.
  • Ineffective control of animal diseases.
  • Lack of skills and quality services to farmers for improving productivity.

Measures to Promote Livestock Sector

  • Increasing commercialization of livestock products by improving technologies, increasing market connectivity, processing and storage centre, training etc.
  • Making provision for adequate availability of quality fodder.
  • Targeting a significant portion of cultivable land for growing fodder crops.
  • By setting up a consortium with National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) and National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to fund the dairy cooperatives.
  • Keeping a disaster management fund for livestock in case of natural calamities.
  • Cross breeding of indigenous species with exotic stocks to enhance genetic potential of different species.
  • Encouraging Public-Private Partnership for sustainable livestock rearing.

Few Important Initiatives by the Government

  • Rashtriya Gokul Mission
    • To develop and conserve indegenous breeds of bovine population.
    • To enhance milk production and to make it more remunerative to the farmers.
  • National Livestock Mission
    • To ensure quantitative and qualitative improvement in livestock production systems and capacity building of all stakeholders.
  • National Artificial Insemination Programme
    • To suggest novel methods of bringing about impregnation in female breeds
    • To prevent the spread of certain diseases which are genital in nature, thereby enhancing the efficiency of the breed.
  • National Cattle and Buffalo Breeding Project
    • To genetically upgrade important indigenous breeds on priority basis with a focus on development and conservation.
  • Animal Husbandry Startup Grand Challenge
    • To appreciate innovations coming from the villages to expand the dairy sector in India.

Way Forward

There are many recommendations for livestock husbandry to enhance the performance of various schemes. If implied with utmost priority, these advice can boost the production, attract the landless and small farmers to take advantage of this sector for sustaining their livelihood and make India competent in the global market.

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