The livestock sector can play a very significant role in achieving the aim of doubling farmers’ income and bringing people out of poverty by augmenting their income. Discuss, and also suggest some measures for sustainable growth of the livestock sector.
Indian agricultural sector is marked by mixed-agriculture, i.e farm and non-farm products like cattle farming, poultry, etc. India has one of the largest livestock populations in the world, according to a recent livestock census.
The livestock sector is essential for low-income households as:
- Supplements reducing farm income, especially when agricultural growth has stagnated at 2-3%.
- It provides additional proteins in form of eggs, milk, mear, etc to households.
- Provides natural manure, which is good for soil conservation also.
- Livestock farming also provides measures to deal with farm waste such as stuble that acts as feed for livestock.
Thus, livestock farming is an effective strategy to augment farmers’ income and reduce poverty.
To realize full potential, some strategies can be adopted:
- Breeding of high-quality livestock like Sindhi, Jersey, etc in cows that yield more milk.
- Cross-breeding techniques should be disseminated to farmers through Krishi Vigyan Kendra.
- Use of disinfectants to control infections like foot & mouth diseases in bovine animals.
- The use of antibiotics should be controlled, as uncontrolled usage leads to Anti-microbial resistance.
- R&D in developing new breeds with improved yields.
- Meat-processing clusters in rural areas.
- Linkage with global supply chains.
The livestock sector is a major game-changer for the rural economy. The Rurban mission can include the development of this sector to provide non-farm employment. National Gokul Mission is the right step in this direction.