Livestock: an opportunity for farmers


Agriculture plays a major role in Indian economy and it has three components such as Crops, Fisheries and Livestock. Crops have been contributing the biggest share but in recent years Livestock is gradually improving its performance. Livestock is practice of raising animals for commercial purpose and some of examples can be horses, cows, and sheep etc. In year 2011-2012, Livestock has contributed 28 % of agricultural GDP and 5% to country’s growth.

In India Livestock are being used for various purposes, still small farmers use livestock for draught power, cultivating land and transportation etc. In recent years it has been observed that non food functions are declining and major livestock market is dominated by animal products such as milk, eggs and chicken. India is largest milk producing country and egg and meat market is also witnessing steady growth. The global market for animal food is expending fast pace especially in developed countries so it becomes an opportunity for India to improve its global share. A recent study has also shown that Livestock can play a crucial role in poverty reduction in rural India as 95% of Livestock resources are from rural India and more than two-third Indian farm household are associated with Livestock.

India has a huge population of various Livestock such as cow, buffalo, sheep and Goat etc still there are many constrain and challenges. One of them is variation in yield, the production level varies state to state in India and this becomes a matter of concern. People do not want to spend much on Livestock and feed and fodder plays major role in productivity of cattle. Again feed and fodder is a regional problem as some of Indian states grow it in excess and it is being wasted and some of states face a deficit of it. Veterinary services are another issues associated with Livestock, weak supplies of medicines and vaccine have been witnessed and eventually various diseases have been affecting production and yields.If we come over these issues, opportunities associated with Livestock might help lots of Indian farmers.

Reference: Pratap S Birthal, Digvijay S Negi, Livestock for Higher, Sustainable and Inclusive Agricultural Growth, Review of Rural Affairs

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