Livestock is a natural capital that can act as a living bank with offspring as interest, and an insurance against income shocks in times of crop failure and natural calamities. Moreover, it provides nutrient-rich food products such as milk, meat, egg, draught power, dung as organic manure and domestic fuel, hides and skin, and is a regular source of cash income for rural households. In the recent decade, demand for various livestock based products has increased significantly due to increase in per-capita income, urbanization, changing taste and preference and increased awareness about food nutrition. Livestock sector is also considered as a potential sector for export earnings.
• India ranks first among the world’s milk producing Nations since 1998 and has the largest bovine population in the World.
• Milk production in India during the period 1950-51 to 2014-15, has increased from 17 million tonnes to 146.3 million tonnes as compared to 137.7 million tonnes during 2013-14 recording a growth of 6.26 % FAO reported 3.1% increase in world milk Production from 765 million tonnes in 2013 to 789 million tonnes in 2014.
• The per capita availability of milk in the country which was 130 gram per day during 1950-51 has increased to 322 gram per day in 2014-15 as against the world average of 293.7 grams per day during 2013.
• Dairying has become an important secondary source of income for millions of rural families and has assumed the most important role in providing employment and income generating opportunities particularly for marginal and women farmers.
• Most of the milk is produced by animals reared by small, marginal farmers and landless labourers.
• About 15.46 million farmers have been brought under the ambit of 165835 village level dairy corporative societies till March 2015.
• Government of India is making efforts for strengthening the dairy sector through various Central sector Schemes like “National Programme for Bovine Breeding and Dairy Development”, National Dairy Plan (Phase-I) and “Dairy Entrepreneurship Development Scheme”.
• The restructured Scheme National Programme for Bovine Breeding and Dairy Development (NPBBDD) was launched by merging four existing schemes i.e. Intensive Dairy Development Programme (IDDP), Strengthening Infrastructure for Quality & Clean Milk Production (SIQ&CMP), Assistant to Cooperatives and National Project for Cattle & Buffalo Breeding with the budget provision of Rs.1800 crores for implementation during 12th Plan.
• In order to meet the growing demand for milk with a focus to improve milch animal productivity and increase milk production, the Government has approved National Dairy Plan Phase-I (NDP-I) in February, 2012 with a total investment of about Rs.2242 crore to be implemented from 2011-12 to 2016-17. NDP-I will help to meet the projected national demand of 150 million tonnes of milk by 2016-17 from domestic production through productivity enhancement, strengthening and expanding village level infrastructure for milk procurement and provide producers with greater access to markets. The strategy involves improving genetic potential of bovines, producing required number of quality bulls, and superior quality frozen semen and adopting adequate bio-security measures etc.
• The scheme is implemented by NDDB through end implementing agencies like state Dairy Cooperative Federations/Unions/Milk Producers Companies. NDP-I would focus on 15 major milk producing States – Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Orissa and Kerala which account for over 90% of the country’s milk production. Now the area of Operation of NDP-I has been extended to three more states i.e. Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand. Coverage of NDP- I will however be across the country in terms of benefits accruing from the scheme.
• India is emerging as the world’s 2nd largest poultry market with an annual growth of more than 14%, producing 61 million tonnes or 3.6 percent of global egg production.
• The annual growth rate of egg production is 5-8%. Apart from this, India ranks 6th in broiler production (125 billion Rupees) with an annual output of 2.39 million tonnes of broiler meat, as per the estimates of the Ministry of Agriculture, Govt. of India. The total poultry industry is valued at about 350 billion rupees.
• The per capita consumption per year is approx 2.4 kg, which is much lower than the National Institute of Nutrition’s recommendations of 1 1 kg.
Contribution of livestock to people:
The livestock provides food and non-food items to the people.
• Food: The livestock provides food items such as Milk, Meat and Eggs for human consumption. India is number one milk producer in the world. It is producing about 137.7 m. tones of milk in a year. Similarly it is producing about 74.75 billions of eggs, 8.89 million tonnes of meat in a year. The value of milk group and meat group at current prices was Rs 4,06,035 crores.
• Fibre and skins: The livestock also contributes to the production of wool, hair, hides, and pelts. Leather is the most important product which has a very high export potential. India is producing about 47.9 million Kg of wool per annum.
• Draft: Bullocks are the back bone of Indian agriculture. Despite lot of advancements in the use of mechanical power in Indian agricultural operations, the Indian farmer especially in rural areas still depend upon bullocks for various agricultural operations. The bullocks are saving a lot on fuel which is a necessary input for using mechanical power like tractors, combine harvesters etc. Pack animals like camels, horses, donkeys, ponies, mules etc are being extensively used to transport goods in different parts of the country in addition to bullocks. In situations like hilly terrains mules and ponies serve as the only alternative to transport goods. Similarly, the army has to depend upon these animals to transport various items in high areas of high altitude.
• Dung and other animal waste materials: Dung and other animal wastes serve as very good farm yard manure and the value of it is worth several crores of rupees. In addition it is also used as fuel (bio gas, dung cakes), and for construction as poor man’s cement (dung).
• Storage: Livestock are considered as “moving banks” because of their potentiality to dispose off during emergencies. They serve as capital and in cases of landless agricultural labourers many time it is the only capital resource they possess. Livestock serve as an asset and in case of emergencies they serve as guarantee for availing loans from the local sources such as money lenders in the villages.
• Weed control: Livestock are also used as Biological control of brush, plants and weeds.
• Cultural: Livestock offer security to the owners and also add to their self esteem especially when they own prized animals such as pedigreed bulls, dogs and high yielding cows/ buffaloes etc.
• Sports / recreation: People also use the animals like cocks, rams, bulls etc. for competition and sports. Despite ban on these animal competitions the cock fights, ram fights and bull fights (jalli kattu) are quite common during festive seasons.
• Companion animals: Dogs are known for their faithfulness and are being used as companions since time immemorial. When the nuclear families are increasing in number and the old parents are forced to lead solitary life the dogs, cats are providing the needed company to the latter thus making them lead a comfortable life.
Role of livestock in farmer’s economy:
The livestock plays an important role in the economy of farmers. The farmers in India maintain mixed farming system i.e. a combination of crop and livestock where the output of one enterprise becomes the input of another enterprise thereby realize the resource efficiency. The livestock serve the farmers in different ways.
• Income: Livestock is a source of subsidiary income for many families in India especially the resource poor who maintain few heads of animals. Cows and buffaloes if in milk will provide regular income to the livestock farmers through sale of milk. Animals like sheep and goat serve as sources of income during emergencies to meet exigencies like marriages, treatment of sick persons, children education, repair of houses etc. The animals also serve as moving banks and assets which provide economic security to the owners.
• Employment: A large number of people in India being less literate and unskilled depend upon agriculture for their livelihoods. But agriculture being seasonal in nature could provide employment for a maximum of 180 days in a year. The land less and less land people depend upon livestock for utilizing their labour during lean agricultural season.
• Food: The livestock products such as milk, meat and eggs are an important source of animal protein to the members of the livestock owners.
• Social security: The animals offer social security to the owners in terms of their status in the society. The families especially the landless which own animals are better placed than those who do not. Gifting of animals during marriages is a very common phenomenon in different parts of the country. Rearing of animals is a part of the Indian culture. Animals are used for various socio religious functions. Cows for house warming ceremonies; rams, bucks and chicken for sacrifice during festive seasons; Bulls and Cows are worshipped during various religious functions. Many owners develop attachment to their animals.
• Draft: The bullocks are the back bone of Indian agriculture. The farmers especially the marginal and small depend upon bullocks for ploughing, carting and transport of both inputs and outputs.
• Dung: In rural areas dung is used for several purposes which include fuel (dung cakes), fertilizer (farm yard manure), and plastering material (poor man’s cement).
Policies for development
A. E-PASHUHAAT portal
This helps to connect farmers and breeders of bovine animals-
• The portal will act as a single online e-trading market platform, including availability of bovine germplasm.
• It will enable the farmers to buy bovine animals, frozen semen and embryo.
• e-pashuhaat portal will connect farmers with breeders- State, Central, Co-operative, Milk Federations, and private agencies.
• It will provide information related to certification of the animal, breeding, its picture, volume of milk given by the cow etc.
• It will facilitate farmers to purchase advanced breed of bovine animals at a reasonable price as per as their requirements.
• It will provide, certified picture of animals, its parent’s information, breeding, volume of milk given by bovine animal information.
• Besides, it will provide information related to animal fodder varieties, its volume and price. It will have real time authentic certified information on availability of germplasm.
B. Cattle Genomics Scheme:
• The scheme aims at boosting selective breeding of the native livestock more accurately to ensure high-yielding, disease-resistant, resilient livestock.
• Under it, government will undertake an ambitious project of genome sequencing of 40 registered indigenous cattle breeds of India.
• Besides, a high-density DNA chips will be developed under this scheme to reduce the cost and time interval of breeding of the native livestock.
• Genome selection will use information on variations in DNA sequences between animals to predict the breeding value more accurately.
• Thus, help to transform livestock breeding.
C. National Dairy Plan
The Scheme has two components: (a) National Programme for Bovine Breeding (NPBB); (b) National Programme for Dairy Development (NPDD).
National dairy plan phase- I:
• National Dairy Plan has been launched with the objective of increasing productivity of milch animals and providing rural producers greater access to organized milk processing sector and is being implemented by National Dairy Development Board (NDDB).
D. Dairy Entrepreneurship Development:
• Its objective is to work for promotion of private investment in dairy sector to increase the milk production and helping in poverty reduction through self employment opportunities.
E. National Livestock Mission:
• National Livestock Mission (NLM) is being implemented with the objectives of sustainable development of livestock sector, focusing on improving availability of quality feed and fodder, risk coverage, effective extension, skill development, improving flow of credit and organization of livestock farmers/rearers, etc.
F. Central Poultry Development Organizations (CPDO)
• The CPDOs located at four regions viz., Chandigarh, Bhubaneswar, Mumbai and Hessarghatta have been playing a pivotal role in the implementation of the policies of the Government with respect to poultry.
G. Strengthening of Breeding Infrastructure:
• It aims at strengthening existing state poultry farms so as to enable the flow of suitable germplasm from the research institutions/laboratories to the grassroots level along with other technical services through capacity building of state poultry farms;
• developing and implementing package of practices at the ground level for different types of poultry system including family poultry system for supplementary income generation and family nutrition.
Fisheries are an important sector. India ranks world number two in fish production and also the second highest aquaculture country in the world. After Independence, fish production has been increased from 7.5 lakh tonnes in 1950-51 to 100.70 lakh tonnes during 2014-15, while the export earnings of 33,441 crore in 2014-15 (US$ 5.51 billion), equalled about 18% of the export earnings from the agriculture sector. Our overall fish production has crossed 10 million tons with a growth rate of over 5 % and today we are ahead of all countries except China. The export earnings of Rs. 33,441 crore in 2014-15 (US$ 5.51 billion), equaled about 18% of the export earnings from the agriculture sector.
Coming to Aquaculture, India is the second largest producer (42. 10 lakh tonnes) of fish from aquaculture which contributes about 6.3 per cent to global aquaculture production.
Fisheries supports livelihood of almost 1.5 million peoples in our country. India is one of the leading producers of fish in the world, occupying the second position globally in terms of production. The contribution of Indian fish to the food basket of the world has been substantial.
Favourable Conditions for Fishing in the world
1. Abundance of plankton: Plankton is the basic food for fish. Plankton may be divided into phyto-plankton (drifting plants), and zooplankton (drifting animals). Phyto-plakton is confined to the euphoric zone (about 600 feet deep), while zooplankton can exist at greater depths. Phytoplankton occurs most abundantly where water upwells, as along the west coasts between 500-600 southern latitudes and in the north Atlantic and the Pacific oceans. The other major areas of phytoplankton development are the waters over the continental shelves.
2. Climate: Generally temperate climate is more suitable for fishing than tropical climate thus commercial fishing is largely practiced in temperate seas/oceans. Though tropical seas abound in fish resources, but tropical fish lack taste, and some are poisonous.
3. Market: Fish is a perishable-product; it needs to ‘be moved quickly to the market before it spoils. Nowadays, big fishing vessels have freezing plants on board for storing large quantities of fish; where canning is also done. The demands for fishes and nearby markets are an added attraction for fishing.
4. Fishing ports: Sheltered fishing ports with deep-water harbours that remain ice free during winter offer favourable conditions for commercial fishing. Modern fishing ports have good transport facilities to nearby urban areas, plants for freezing, filleting, curing, processing and canning fish.
Climate Change (Adaptation and new initiatives):
Climate change is one of the biggest challenges that the fisheries sector is facing and time-bound adaptation and management plans are necessary. The impacts of climate change on marine fisheries are amply visible in the Indian EEZ and surrounding high seas. Such impacts have brought perceptible changes in the fishery of some species, forcing fishers to make changes in fishing operations. Climate change is also one of the reasons for changes in abundance of vulnerable fish stocks. Government will encourage focused studies on climate change impacts on fish stocks and fishing communities, besides implementation of adaptation options in a time bound manner. As part of India’s International commitments on climate change, the concept of green fisheries by reducing Green House Gases (GHG) emissions from fishing and fishing related activities will also be encouraged.
In the budget allocation (2015-16) all the existing schemes of fisheries sector have been brought under the umbrella of ‘Blue Revolution’ (Neel Kranti) for growth of fisheries and aquaculture in the country. The importance and growth potential of the sector, and considering the need for effective implementation of different schemes, the Ministry by merging all the existing schemes, has proposed to formulate an umbrella scheme ‘Blue Revolution: Integrated Development and Management of Fisheries’ with an outlay of Rs. 3000 crore.
Blue Revolution refers to an integrated and holistic approach towards the development and management of the fisheries and aquaculture sector in the country for increased production and productivity.
The Blue Revolution, encompassing multi-dimensional activities, focuses mainly on increasing production from aquaculture and fisheries resources, both inland and marine. The vast fishery resources offer immense opportunities to enhance fish production through aquaculture-system diversification, species diversification, proper management, introduction of new and advanced technologies in both marine and inland sector, adoption of scientific practices and application of suitable fish health management strategies etc.
Activities focused area under National Fisheries Developmental Board:
• Intensive Aquaculture in Ponds and Tanks
• Fisheries Development in Reservoirs.
• Coastal Aquaculture
• Seaweed Cultivation
• Infrastructure: Fishing Harbours and Landing Centres
• Fish Dressing Centres and Solar Drying of Fish
• Domestic Marketing
• Technology Upgradation
• Deep Sea Fishing and Tuna Processing
The implementation of two programs for inland fisheries establishing fish farmers’ development agencies and the National Programme of Fish Seed development has led to encouragingly increased production.
• Development of Inland Fisheries and Aquaculture;
• Development of Marine Fisheries, Infrastructure and Post Harvest Operations;
• National Scheme of Welfare of Fishermen;
• Strengthening of Database and Geographical Information System for the Fisheries Sector;
• Assistance to Fisheries Institutes;
• National Fisheries Development Board;
• Issuance of Biometric Identity Cards to Coastal Fishermen.