Development in Animal Husbandry Sector Aids National Food Security

Dr. H.R.Keshavamurthy Director (M&C), Press Information Bureau, Kolkata. Former Director of Animal Husbandry Animal protein in the form of milk, butter, cheese, egg, meat, fish to name a few, form an important part of the food basket of each family depending on their economic status and regional preferences. For instance we find fish in every […]

Dr. H.R.Keshavamurthy
Director (M&C), Press Information Bureau, Kolkata. Former Director of Animal Husbandry
Animal protein in the form of milk, butter, cheese, egg, meat, fish to name a few, form an important part of the food basket of each family depending on their economic status and regional preferences. For instance we find fish in every meal in Bengal and percentage of chicken consumers has risen sharply in recent years with improved purchasing power of people. This is due to various developmental, welfare initiatives of government and also increased growth in animal husbandry, dairying and fisheries sector.
Animal husbandry, dairying and fisheries activities play an important role in national economy and in socio-economic development of the country. These activities contribute to the food basket, nutrition security and house-hold income of the farmers and play a significant role in generating gainful employment in the rural areas, particularly among the landless, small and marginal farmers and women, besides providing cheap and nutritious food.
Livestock are the best insurance for farmers against vagaries of nature like drought and other natural calamities.
Farmers of marginal, small and semi-medium operational holdings (area less than 4 ha) own about 87.7% of the livestock making development of livestock sector more inclusive in nature. India is endowed with the largest livestock population in the world. Livestock production and agriculture are intrinsically linked, each being dependent on the other, and both crucial for overall food security. According to estimates of the Central Statistics Office (CSO), the value of output from livestock sector at current prices was about Rs.4, 59,051 crore during 2011-12 which is about 24.8% of the value of output from total agricultural and allied sector at current price and 25.6% at constant prices (2004-05). The value of output of milk was Rs.3, 05,484 crore in 2011-12, which is higher than the value of output of paddy and wheat. The value of output from meat group at current prices in 2011-12 was Rs.83, 641 crore and Rs.17,803 crore from eggs.
As Agriculture, including Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries is a State subject, the emphasis of the central govt has been on supplementing efforts of the State Governments in the development of these sectors. Assistance to the State Governments is provided for the control of animal diseases, scientific management and up gradation of genetic resources, increasing availability of nutritious feed and fodder, sustainable development of processing and marketing facilities and enhancement of production and profitability of livestock and fisheries enterprises under various centrally sponsored and central sector schemes.
Realizing the potential of this sector, central budgetary outlay for this sector has increased manifold in the last decade. An amount of about Rs.11,313 crore including Rs.5,403.88 crore under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana and National Mission for Protein Supplements was allocated for animal husbandry, dairying and fisheries sector during 11th Plan, in addition to budgetary support under state plans. During the Eleventh Plan, Government initiated several new programmes /schemes improve Veterinary Hospitals and Dispensaries, and for strengthening the efforts for animal disease control. To meet the shortage of fodder, several new components were incorporated in the Feed and Fodder scheme. Further, Dairy Entrepreneurship Development Scheme was initiated, with the objective of increasing investment in dairy sector for increasing milk production in the country while creating self-employment opportunities. An allocation of Rs.14, 179.00 crore during 12th Plan which includes an amount of Rs.7,628 crore for Animal Husbandry, Rs 4,976.00 crore for Dairy Development and Rs.2,483.00 crore for the Fisheries sector has been provided.
India ranks first among the world’s milk producing nations, achieving an annual output of about 127.9 million tonnes of milk during 2011-12. Most of the milk in the Country is produced by small, marginal farmers and landless labourers and is used for both self consumption and to generate income. In order to meet the rapidly growing demand for milk with a focus to improve milch animal productivity and increase milk production, the Government 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. NDP-I will help to meet the projected national demand of 150 million tonnes of milk by 2016-17 from domestic production. The strategy involves increasing the genetic potential of bovines, producing required number of quality bulls, producing superior quality frozen semen and adopting adequate bio-security measures. In order to improve productivity of animals by genetic improvement, the existing scheme relating to development of bovines and dairy development are being merged to a new scheme, National Programme for Bovine Breeding and Dairy(NPBBD) which will be implemented along with the National Dairy Plan (Phase-I).
In fisheries sector, a major initiative has been taken by Government of India by launching National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB) as a special purpose vehicle to achieve sustainable development of fisheries sector through integration of wide array of activities. NFDB would be strengthened by integrating all schemes relating to fisheries development under it and enhancing investment for the sector.
The Livestock sector also contributes to export in spite of the fact that limited number of livestock enterprises function in the country on commercial basis. Total export earnings from livestock, poultry and related products were Rs.33,417 crore during 2011-12 as compared to Rs.25,409 crore during previous year i.e. 2010-11 with a growth of about 31.5%. Total export earnings from fisheries products have also shown steady increase and reached to Rs.16,597.23 crore during 2011-12 compared to Rs.12,901.47 crore during 2010-11 with a growth of about 28.65%.
All these focused initiatives of the Government is expected to speed up national GDP growth, generate additional employment opportunities, improve the food basket and nutritional level of people in the country. Ultimately Food Security of the country will be bolstered.
(PIB Features.)

Read more / Original news source: