Livestock production performance has been more impressive than that of food grain production. Milk, egg, meat, and fish showed impressive growth rates of 5to10%.The minimum targeted growth rate for attaining self sufficiency in milk, fish, meat and egg by 2001 AD are 5.54, 6.25, and 5.54 % per annum respectively.
Livestock represents the only way in which the natural vegetation that covers large parts of India can be converted in to products that can be used by man. It provides drought power and manure to the crop enterprise and this in turn provides feed and fodder. The value of out put from the livestock sector was Rupees 79684 crores in 1994-95 which was 9.3% the Total (GDP).
Fortunately India is blessed with a tremendous livestock wealth. It has the largest population of cattle and buffalo in the world and its breeds are admired for heat tolerance and inherent resistance to diseases and ability to thrive under different climatic condition.
The cattle population of India is very large. According 1991 census the cattle population was estimated at 467.9 million this comprised of 203.1 million catties, 83.1 million buffaloes 50.7million sheep, 115.3 million goats and 12.1 million pigs. The others were estimated at 3.6 million. The poultry population constituted a 400 million.
India ranks first with the average milk production of 78 million tons per annum. This has been the achievement of 70 million dairy farmers and also through the striated efforts of the animal husbandry practices, cattle cross breeding projects and cooperative dairy farming. It is worthwhile to mention that the per capita availability of milk to the lacto vegetarian Indians is estimated at 214 grams per day. It has been the only source of sufficient energy, minerals, vitamins and animal proteins. A 60% of the total milk production enters in. to the market in the form of dahi, butter, ghee, khoa and shrikhand. Besides this the conventional dairy products including milk powder, Ice cream and cheese are also manufactured. During last 20 years the supply f milk has been possible in sufficient quantities through the pasteurization plants and chilling units.
Animal draught power:
The bullock pair may be regarded as the backbone of Indian Agriculture. Though the animal draught power does not relate with human nutrition directly. Indirectly it contributes in the production of food grains; the renowned draught animals (cattle and buffaloes) include Khillar, Amrit mahal, Hallikar, Red kandhari, Ongole, Malvi, Rathi, Nagore, Neman, Hariyana, Gir, and Deoni. There are about 86 million draft animals, which comprise of 76 million bullocks. 8 million buffaloes, 1 million camels and donkeys. The horsepower obtained from 1 bullock is equivalent 0.75 H.P.
Mechanization in Agriculture has been to the tune of 20% only. Whereas 80% of the agriculture/farm operations are done by bullock drawn .implements. It is estimated that 40,000 mega watts, of Energy (Traction power) is made available through the use of draft animals and the value of this has been estimated Rs. 5000/- crores.
Flesh foods are rich in protein and are good sources of vitamin B12 which is absent in plant food. India’s meat production is hardly 2% (4.08 million tons) of the global meat production 209.31 million tons in 1995. Out of total meat produce in India 54% is from mutton and chevon, 26% from beef 13% from chicken and 7% from pork. Even though 70% of India’s populations consume meat the per capita availability of meat is less than 5 kg per year. As compared to worlds average of 14 kg per year
Broiler production in India is recent one rearing poultry for meat purposes started only in seventies, but the growth is significant Broiler production which was only 4 million in 1971 increased to around 215 million in 1991.
The poultry industry has achieved a spectacular growth during last thirty years. The 24’billion eggs produced in 1991 represented 13 fold increase compared to 1951.
With the annual production of 27 billion eggs (1995-96) India stands fifth in world. The government has promoted the poultry development through intensive poultry development project (IPDP) launched in third five years plan, (1969-74). Improved breeds like RIR, WLH and Australia. The per capita availability of eggs in India is only 30 per annum as against the ICMR recommendation of 180 per year.
Fish is a cheap source of animal protein and a good source of calcium. The fish production of India has risen to 4.95 million tons in 1995-96. The per capita availability of fish in 1996 was 5.4 kg whereas the ICMR recommendation for total meat including fish is 10.95 kg per annum.
Farm yard manure for organic farming:
A minimum of 10-20 kg dung is obtained on an average from every cow or buffalo. This is an excellent source of F.Y.M. or compost manure. This is badly needed to improve the inherent soil fertility, and to have the extended manorial effect on the crops parts. Dung cakes are utilized as a source of fuel in rural parts of India. It is estimated that 640 million tons of cow dung is being utilized to meet the house hold fuel requirements. Besides the cow dung, goat extreta, and poultry dropping can also be better utilized for organic manure.
As a result of various dairy development programmers the country is having presently 233 processing plants and 46 milk products factories. The cooperative public sector plants and organized private plants have an estimated handling capacity of 8.65 million liters per day (MLPD). Various cattle improvement project have been-started in 600 community blocks. The country has now 122 intensive cattle development programmes (ICDP) 140 cattle breeding farms, 40 Exotic cattle farms and 48 frozen semen banks in operation. These activities has resulted in enhancing the milk production by 494.11% in the past three decades although increase in breedable cows and buffaloes 22-23% during the same period.
Through a net work of over 4200C milk producers cooperative organized under the operation floot. Programme, a National milch grid has been successfully established. This grid covers besides the four-metropolitan cities. Nearly 200 cities and towns
The fallen and slaughtered cattle and buffaloes also contribute hides and skins, bones and hooves etc. The hides and skins, from cattle and buffalo are estimated at 0.82 million tons annually.
Animal Husbandry & Dairying may be regarded as a source to create the employment in rural areas all round the year. Indian Agriculture is mainly dependent on monsoon and hence agriculture field faces certain bottlenecks to provide employment during such periods. On an average Agriculture sector may provide 200 days employment to the rural persons. This means they have to find alternate source of employment for income during the rest of the year. Dairy farming, sheep and goat rearing, poultry production, pig farming rabbit rearing are the alternate sources of mix farming. It may be possible to generate the employment for the farmers as well as land less laborers who can do this job themselves, or it may be possible to employ young and the old family persons as a side business. Many of the operations in Animal Husbandry and Poultry Farming can be done by the rural women. It is estimated that on an average 35 million human years/annum employment generation has been potential through this sector.
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