Critically examine the role of Livestock in farming economy of India. Do you agree with the view that in recent times, there has been a structural shift in agriculture sector due to Livestock rearing? Substantiate your stand.
Model Answer: India’s agricultural system is predominantly a mixed crop-livestock farming system in which crop production is combined with the rearing of livestock. Since Indian farmer is always subject to vagaries of nature such as drought, famine, floods etc. livestock work as insurance and natural capital against those vagaries. They supplement family income and generate gainful self-employment, particularly for landless laborers, small and marginal farmers and women.
The structural shift has occurred in livestock rearing because their earlier use as draught power has vanished but there has been a consistent increase in demand of animal food products milk, eggs, meat etc. and non-food products such as hides, skin, blood, bones, fat etc. This contribution has increased over the time and will increase in future also. This is the reason that today economic / monetary contribution of the livestock is more than the food grain crops! currently, Livestock share a quarter of the agriculture gross domestic product (GDP). (160 words)
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