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ANIMAL HUSBANDRY NEEDS GREATER ATTENTION

SYLLABUS: GS MAINS PAPER III

The global animal feed market is under-going marked changes that are likely to accelerate this decade. The pattern of global consumption is evolving towards higher share of animal products in diets. So, in animal husbandry sector higher quantities of crops will be used as feed.

ABOUT INDIA’S ANIMAL HUSBANDRY SECTOR

1. It refers to selective breeding and livestock raising.

2. Animal husbandry is the management and care of animals in which the genetic qualities and behaviour of animals are further developed for profit.

3. India is the highest livestock owner of the world. It plays an important role in the Indian economy.

4. Animal husbandry supports the livelihood of almost 55% of the rural population.

5. The contribution of livestock in total agriculture and allied sector Gross Value Added (at constant prices) has increased from 24.32% (2014-2015) to 28.63% (2018-2019) as per Economic Survey 2021.

6. According to livestock census 2020, total milch cattle population was up by 10.5 per cent to 74.6 million in 2019.

7. India is also the world’s largest producer of milk and third largest producer of egg.

8. The annual average growth rate of dairy, animal husbandry, and fisheries in five years till 2020 was 8.6%.

SCENARIO OF LIVESTOCK SECTOR

1. Protein meal (oil seed extractions) and Maize (corn) will remain the most important feed commodities and according to OECD-FAO, it will constitute 60% of total feed use by 2030.

Feed demand for maize is set to grow by 1.4 per cent per annum, slightly faster than projected 1.2 per cent growth for protein meals.

2. Worldwide meat consumption is shifting towards poultry, primarily reflecting lower poultry prices in low-income developing countries where demand is price elastic. As income recover, demand will recover too.

By 2030, poultry meat will represent 41% of all protein from meat sources as consumers are attracted to lower price, product consistency and higher protein/lower fat content.

3. Projections show that by 2022-2023, milk production will expand to 235 million tonnes (from 198 mt in 2019-2020) and egg production to 136 billion (from 114 billion in 2019-2020).

4. Strong growth in dairy production combined with feed intensification will result in a 2.4% feed demand growth next 10 years.

Protein demand is set to rise by 3% per annum next 10 years as India moves towards compound feed-based livestock production.

CHALLENGES

1. Disease outbreaks, sanitary restrictions and trade policies will affect the evolution and dynamics of the world meat market.

2. For the animal feed manufacturers, there are challenges in sourcing raw material for feed including water shortage, climate change, land constraint, low crop yields, lack of tech infusion and policy constraint.

3. Uncertainty of raw material/feed availability, feed price volatility, demand fluctuation, policy environment and gradual inroads made by plant protein are some of the issues the industry will have to tackle.

4. Feed price volatility often hurts the bottom line of manufacturers.

5. The biggest challenge to animal protein will come from the emerging plant protein segment.

WAY FORWARD

1. Animal feed market will have to be part of “Sustainable Animal Agriculture Ecosystem”.

The industry has inherited a legacy ecosystem that does not recognise sustainability and needs to evolve to face looming changes. For this, review of services, technologies, standards and regulations is necessary.

2. Contract farming is the way forward for assured availability and access to raw material.

Establishing backward linkages especially with FPOs (Farmer Producer Organizations) will provide price stability and assured access with scale economies.

3. Hedging in commodity exchanges through the derivative route which is based on delivery based Forward Contracts can be explored for price risk management.

4. The animal agriculture-based industry should be clear about where it wants to be in next 10 years.

Research is a priority to study the market and demand projection strategies can ensure higher yields per milch animal, feed demand, vaccine requirement, promote animal health and nutrition etc.

5. Upgrading skills, investment and setting up of adequate processing capacity can attract foreign direct investment.

CONCLUSION

With increasing population, unfortunate rise in farmer’s suicide, persistent rise in food inflation and majority of the Indian population having agriculture as the primary occupation, the practice of animal husbandry is no more a choice, but a need in contemporary scenario.

Animal husbandry is the urgent panacea, imperative hope and definite desire for India as well as the world.

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