(GIST OF KURUKSHETRA) Livestock: Key for Doubling Farmers’ Income
Livestock: Key for Doubling Farmers’ Income
Animal husbandry has been the most important integral part of Indian agriculture system since ancient time. It provides livelihood to two-third of the rural population, especially the landless and marginal farmers. That is why livestock is considered as a living bank for livestock owners and act as an insurance against natural calamities and crop failure.
In the last two decades, livestock sector has emerged as one of the powerful economic engine in regulating Indian economy and livelihood of rural and fast growing semi-urban population. The population explosion not only reduced the farm land availability but also has become less profitable for the farmers in India.
Challenges in Livestock Sector:
There are several challenges being faced by livestock sector which can be effectively filled to increase farmers' income.
Large population of low-producing cattle (non-descript) is a big challenge, therefore genetic upgradation for improving annual milk yield of these non- descript animals is required.
Breeding strategies with almost negligible pedigree record are the major hurdles of breed upgradation and animal selection for better productivity.
Availability of pedigreed Bulls of indigenous cow.
Infertility in Bovines.
Inadequate coverage of artificial insemination services along with qualified technical man Power, particularly in rural and hilly areas Chronic shortage of feed along with quality of fodder is major obstacle for enhancing animal productivity, the country remains deficit in dry fodder by 10 percent, in green fodder by 35 percent and in concentrate feed by 33 percent.
Escalating price of feed ingredient like maize.
Diversion of animal feed and fodder ingredients for industrial and human use.
Inadequate disease control programmes including deficiency of vaccines of major diseases like FMD, Brucellosis, HS, BQ, PPR, infertility, parasitism and emerging diseases like IBR and Blue Tongue.
Low interest of youth in animal husbandry because of low market place and lack of knowledge in the area of value addition of livestock products.
Lack of proper policy and awareness resulted in reduced participation of rural mass in commercial animal husbandry practices.
Poor policies for investment in livestock sector has been another obstacle. Only 5 percent of the total money has been invested in livestock and this window requires more funding to pace the momentum of animal husbandry.
Low milk price with increased feed cost.
Non-availability of chilling facility of milk in rural areas.
Inadequate availability of credit.
Poor access to organised market.
Limited animal insurance coverage.
Stray cattle menace.
Now, let us talk about the animal husbandry sector and how it can play the pivotal role in enhancing the income.
Enhancing the unit production of milk, meat and egg with better feeding, breeding and management practices.
Availability of affordable and quality feed and fodder throughout the year.
Use of sex sorted semen for getting female animals.
Artificial insemination using semen from pedigreed bulls.
Effective and regular health coverage including timely vaccination.
Diagnosis of sub-clinical forms of diseases particularly sub-clinical mastitis to reduce the unit cost of animal production and health.
Integrated farming system along with implementation of biotechnology and its tool in animal production system.
Commercialisation of super ovulation and oestrus synchronisation practices in small animals.
Value addition of animal products and their effective marketing.
Proper marketing of milk along with establishment of Panchagavya units in rural areas.
Extensive establishment of Biogas units and commercialisation of organic farming system.
Integration of animal husbandry with fisheries.
Establishment of cooperative units and ease in marketing and getting proper value of animal products.
Introduction of incentive for farmers for animal husbandry practices.
Treatment of anoestrus and repeat breeders and reducing the inter-calving period.
Encouraging the rearing of indigenous cow.
More emphasis on green fodder production.
Bridging the gap between the farmers and the market; farmers and the government; and farmers-market and the government and private-cooperate involvement.
Strengthening of veterinary extension services.
Execution of livestock related schemes run by central/state government for the benefit of farmers.
Ensuring marketing of animal products at the best profitable rate.
Fast, ease and prompt financial assistance from cooperative society/banks to livestock farmers.
Promotion of sustainable dairy farming system that allow proper and efficient use age of the resources, without being over-exploited.
Attraction of rural youth and women in animal husbandry enterprises.
Strengthening of veterinary and para-veterinary infrastructure.
Greenhouse gas management.
Doubling of farmers' income can only be possible if animal husbandry is integrated into agriculture and allied sectors with salient policies and their effective as well as timed implementation.
Livestock sector requires adequate funding and its upgradation. There is a need to strengthen animal husbandry practices with more involvement of youth and private units for funding. It is the time to achieve more conception and reducing the age of puberty; have strategies for the diagnosis of subclinical diseases and wider coverage of vaccination system.
The artificial insemination (AI) coverage should increase and use of sex sorted semen for high producing female animals may be ensured. Along with this, value addition to animal products is highly essential to get higher price compared to non-value added products. The integration of animal husbandry with agriculture will definitely help to accomplish the objectives of doubling the farmer's income by 2022.