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Livestock: Key for Doubling Farmers’ Income

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Published: 27th Jan, 2021

Livestock: Key for Doubling Farmers’ Income
  • Agriculture in India, since independence, is considered as the backbone of Indian economy and farming community is its spinal cord. More than 60-65 percent of the population is dependent on the agriculture and its allied sectors.
  • 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. It acts as an insurance against natural calamities and crop failure.
  • The population explosion not only reduced the farm land availability but also has become less profitable for the farmers in India. Under this situation, livestock sector is showing huge potential for growth, investment, income and sustainability.


  1. Agriculture contributes 17 percent to India's total Gross Domestic Product (GDP), of which 27 percent comes from animal husbandry.
  2. Dairy, poultry and aquaculture contributes 4.4 percent to the nation's GDP, which symbolises the importance of the sectors
  3. It provides employment opportunities to over 16 million people across the country.
  4. As per the 20th Livestock census, India is
    • first in the total buffalo population in the world.
    • second in the population of goats and poultry market.
    • third in population of sheep
  5. The total Livestock population shows an increase of 4.6 per cent over the Livestock census 2012.
  6. Livestock contributed 16 percent to the income of small farm households as against an average of 14 percent for all rural households.

Challenges in Livestock Sector

  • Large population of low-producing cattle.
  • 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.
  • 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, etc.
  • Inadequate availability of credit.
  • Poor access to organised market.
  • Limited animal insurance coverage.

Future Roadmap

  • Enhancing the unit production of milk, meat and egg with better feeding, breeding and management practices.
  • Artificial insemination using semen from pedigreed bulls.
  • 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.
  • Effective and regular health coverage including timely vaccination.
  • Extensive establishment of Biogas units and commercialisation of organic farming
  • Establishment of cooperative units and ease in marketing and getting proper value of animal products.
  • Encouraging the rearing of indigenous cow.
  • Bridging the gap between the farmers and the market; farmers and the government; and farmers-market and the government and private-cooperate involvement.
  • Fast, ease and prompt financial assistance from cooperative society/ banks to livestock farmers.
  • Attraction of rural youth and women in animal husbandry enterprises.
  • Strengthening of veterinary and para-veterinary infrastructure.

Concluding Remarks

  • Doubling of farmers' income can only be possible if animal husbandry is integrated into agriculture and allied sectors with salient polices and their effective as well as timed implementation.

Verifying, please be patient.

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