Question – Explaining the significance of animal husbandry in rural development, suggest how this sector can be improved? Refer the efforts, made by the government in this regard. – 6 April 2022
Answer – India is an agricultural country, and animal husbandry is an agricultural activity. It plays an important role in ensuring social justice, poverty alleviation, women empowerment and rural development. Importantly, landless and marginal farmers can increase their family income through animal husbandry.
Significance of Animal Husbandry in Rural Development in India:
- It is the mainstay of rural livelihood. Especially the landless and marginal farmers can increase their family income and wealth through animal husbandry.
- Animal husbandry and agriculture are intertwined processes. Food for animals is obtained from agriculture, so animals also provide various types of inputs for agriculture, such as food, transportation, etc.
- The problem of unemployment and hidden unemployment in rural areas can be solved by animal husbandry.
- Women are often involved in animal husbandry. Hence it contributes to women empowerment by promoting women’s participation in the labor sector.
- Animal products are an excellent source of ‘protein’ and ‘nutrients’ for the rural poor.
Government schemes and interventions to encourage animal husbandry in India:
- Rashtriya Gokul Mission (RGM): To undertake breed improvement program for indigenous breeds to improve genetic composition and increase stock.
- E-Pashu Haat Portal: This portal is for connecting breeders and farmers regarding the availability of quality bovine germplasm.
- National Animal Disease Control Programme: It has been launched for Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) and Brucellosis with a total outlay of Rs. 13,343 crore to ensure 100% vaccination of cattle, buffalo, sheep, goats and pig.
- National Livestock Mission: The ‘National Livestock Mission’ launched during the year 2014-15 was formulated with an objective to improve the nutrition and standard of living of livestock rearers and farmers, especially smallholders, through sustainable, safe and equitable livestock development . It comprehensively covers all the activities required to ensure quantitative and qualitative improvement in livestock production systems and capacity building of all stakeholders. The major outcomes of the mission are bridging the gap in demand and availability of feed and fodder, conservation and improvement of indigenous breeds, higher productivity and production in a sustainable and eco-friendly manner, especially in rain-fed areas and landless, small and marginal To increase livelihood opportunities for farmers, increase awareness, improve risk coverage and make available quality superior animal products to consumers, overall socio-economic up-liftment of cattle races.
- Livestock Health and Disease Control Scheme: Support is provided for prevention and control of animal diseases like Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) etc.
- Dairy Development: Strengthening infrastructure for production, procurement, processing, and marketing of quality milk and milk products through dairy development schemes.
- Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund: To increase milk production, boost exports and increase employment by promoting MSMEs and private companies through participation in processing and value addition in animal husbandry sector, Finance Minister announced Rs 15,000 crore Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund Of. This will strengthen the dairy sector.
- Disease Protection of Livestock: For livestock protection, diagnostic kit and sub-viral particle based infectious bursal disease vaccine against Japanese Encephalitis (JE) and Bluetongue (Bt) disease were developed.
- National Artificial Insemination Programme: It aims to suggest new methods of impregnation in female breeds. To prevent the spread of certain diseases which are genital in nature, thereby increasing the efficiency of the breed.
- Fisheries and Aquaculture Infrastructure Development Fund (FIDF): FIDF provides concessional finance/loans for development of identified fisheries infrastructure to eligible entities including State Governments/UTs and State Institutions.
- Independent Department: Realizing the importance of this sector, an independent Department of Fisheries has been created in
In view of the low growth rate and low productivity in the animal husbandry sector in India, the following measures need to be taken to promote this sector-
- The infrastructure related to artificial insemination should be strengthened to improve the breed of animals. New techniques related to artificial insemination should be used and human resource should be trained in this regard.
- In order to improve the health of animals, provision of good quality and adequate nutritional feed, vaccination and diagnostic facilities should be made at the time of infection.
- Adequate credit facilities should be provided to this sector for the development of animal husbandry sector.
- Processing, storage of animal products, access to dairy, etc. should be promoted.
- Modernization of slaughterhouses and their functioning should be regulated.
There is immense potential for development in the field of animal husbandry in India; it can also contribute significantly in doubling the income of farmers. For this there is a need to encourage private sector participation under public-private partnership (PPP) model for development of ancillary services and processing sector.