Animal Husbandry in India

Animal Husbandry in India

Animal husbandry refers to livestock raising and selective breeding. It is the management and care of animals in which the genetic qualities and behavior of animals are further developed for profit.

  • A large number of farmers depend upon animal husbandry for their livelihood. It supports the livelihood of almost 55% of the rural population.

As per the Economic Survey-2021, the contribution of Livestock in total agriculture and allied sector Gross Value Added (at Constant Prices) has increased from 24.32% (2014-15) to 28.63% (2018-19).

India is the highest livestock owner of the world.

  • As per the 20th Livestock Census, the total Livestock population is 535.78 million in the country showing an increase of 4.6% over Livestock Census-2012.

Animal rearing has multidimensional potential.

  • For instance, Operation Flood, launched in 1970, helped dairy farmers direct their own development, increased milk production ("a flood of milk"), augmented rural incomes and ensured reasonable prices for consumers.

Importance of Animal Husbandry :

  • It has contributed significantly to the empowerment of women and has increased their income and role in society.
  • It is a major risk mitigation approach for small and marginal farmers, particularly across the rain-fed regions of India.
  • It is at the center of poverty alleviation programs from equity and livelihood standpoints.
  • Livestock productivity has been identified as one of the seven sources of income growth by the Inter-Ministerial Committee under the government’s target of doubling farmers' income by the year 2022.

Challenges in Animal Husbandry:

  • Non-availability of superior quality breeding bulls.
  • Poor quality of semen produced by many of the laboratories.
  • Shortage of fodder resources and ineffective control of animal diseases.
  • Absence of field oriented conservation strategy for indigenous breeds.
  • Lack of skills and quality services to farmers for improving productivity and improper infrastructure to support the sector.

Various Breeds of Cattles 

Cattle are considered to have been one of the first animals domesticated by man for agricultural purposes. They are raised as livestock for meat called beef, dairy products (milk and milk products), and leather and as draught animals (for pulling carts, plough fields, etc.) In some countries they are subject to religious ceremonies and respect.

India possesses one-sixth of the cattle and half of the buffalo population of the world. In fact, India has some of the best breeds of cattle and buffaloes in the world. 

Government Initiatives to Boost this Sector:

Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund (AHIDF):

This is the first major fund launched by the government that includes a diverse set of stakeholders such as Farmer Producer Organizations (FPO), private dairy players, individual entrepreneurs, and non-profits within its ambit.

Launched : June 2020.

Fund: It has been set up with an outlay of Rs.15,000 crore.

Aim: To support private investment in Dairy Processing, value addition and cattle feed infrastructure.

Incentives will be given for establishing plants for export of niche products.

  • A niche product is a product targeting a specific section of a larger industry and market. Niche products are often (but not always) more expensive than more generic products.
  • It will also support the establishment of animal feed plants of varying capacities – including setting up of mineral mixture plants, silage making units, and animal feed testing laboratory.

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, goat and pig population.

Rashtriya Gokul Mission:

  • To develop and conserve indigenous breeds of bovine population.
  • To enhance milk production and to make it more remunerative to the farmers.

National Livestock Mission:

  • Launched in the year 2014-15.
  • To ensure quantitative and qualitative improvement in livestock production systems and capacity building of all stakeholders.

National Artificial Insemination Programme:

  • To suggest novel methods of bringing about impregnation in female breeds.
  • To prevent the spread of certain diseases which are genital in nature, thereby enhancing the efficiency of the breed.

Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying releases 20th Livestock Census

Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying, Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying has released the 20th Livestock Census report today.The Census will prove beneficial not just for policy makers but also for agriculturists, traders, entrepreneurs, dairying industry and masses in general. This release provides some key results reflecting the aggregate counts of various species as well as its comparison with previous census.

The following are the key results of the 20th Livestock Census:

  1. The total Livestock population is 535.78 million in the country showing an increase of 4.6% over Livestock Census-2012
  2. Total Bovine population (Cattle, Buffalo, Mithun and Yak) is 302.79 Million in 2019 which shows an increase of about 1% over the previous census.
  3. The total number of cattle in the country in 2019 is 192.49 million showing an increase of 0.8 % over previous Census.
  4. The Female Cattle (Cows population) is 145.12 million, increased by 18.0% over the previous census (2012).
  5. There is a decline of 6 % in the total Indigenous/ Non-descript cattle population over the previous census. However, the pace of decline of Indigenous/ Non-descript cattle population during 2012-2019 is much lesser than as compared to the 2007-12 which was about 9%.
  6. The total buffaloes in the country is 109.85 million showing an increase of about 1.0% over previous Census.
  7. The total sheep in the country is 74.26 million in 2019, increased by 14.1% over previous Census.
  8. The Goat population in the country in 2019 is 148.88 million showing an increase of 10.1% over the previous census.
  9. The total poultry in the country is 851.81 million in 2019, registered an increase of 16.8% in the total poultry.

Key Points

The total Livestock population is 535.78 million in the country showing an increase of 4.6% over Livestock Census-2012.

  • West Bengal observed the highest increase of 23%, followed by Telangana (22%).

The total number of cattle in the country has shown an increase of 0.8 %.

  • The increase is mainly driven by a sharp increase in cross-bred cattle and higher female indigenous cattle population.
  • Uttar Pradesh has observed a maximum decrease in cattle population though the state has taken several steps to save cattle.
  • West Bengal has seen the highest rise of 15% in cattle population.

The population of the total exotic/crossbred cattle has increased by 27%.

  • Cross-bred animals contributed around 28% to India’s total milk production in 2018-19.
  • The milch population of exotic and crossbred cattle such as Jersey or Holsteins shows higher milk yields and thus farmers prefer animals yielding more milk.

A decline of 6% in the total indigenous cattle population has been observed.

  • India’s indigenous cattle numbers continue to decline, notwithstanding the government’s efforts to promote conservation of desi breeds through the Rashtriya Gokul Mission (RGM).
  • The sharpest fall has been observed in the states (Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan,Maharashtra, etc.) with tough cow slaughter laws.
The backyard poultry has increased by around 46%.
  • The sharp increase in backyard poultry is a significant change in the rural landscape which shows a sign of poverty alleviation.
Total Bovine population (Cattle, Buffalo, Mithun and Yak) has shown an increase of about 1%.

The population of sheep, goat and Mithun grew in double digits while the count of horses and ponies, pigs, camels, donkeys, mules and yaks declined.

    The Livestock Census

    The Livestock Census has been conducted in the country periodically since 1919-20. Since then it has been conducted once every 5 years.

    So far 19 such censuses have been conducted in participation with State Governments and UT Administrations. The 20th Livestock Census was conducted in participation with all States and Union Territories. 

    National Informatics Centre (NIC) has developed a mobile Application software and was used for data collection as well as online transmission of data from the field to the NIC server.

    Click here to see Key Statistics (Provisional)

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