Livestock is generally defined as domesticated animals raised in an agricultural environment to produce labor and commodities such as milk, eggs, meat, wool, fur, leather, etc. It is a kind of business associated with agricultural farming which supports livelihood to almost 55% of the rural population and thus plays a crucial role in the Indian economy. Around 200 million Indians are engaged in livestock farming including around 100 million dairy farmers. It contributes more than 4% to India’s GDP and more than 25% to total agriculture GDP.
India has the highest livestock numbers in the world. This sector has the potential for providing non-farm employment and income in rural areas to small landholders and landless farmers and thus rapid growth of this sector can lead to more egalitarian and inclusive growth. Along with income and employment, it is a good source of food and social security and promotes gender equity. It provides protection against disasters as livestock is considered the best insurance against drought, famine, and other natural calamities.
The breeding of livestock in India has been largely unorganized. It impacts the quality of livestock that is produced and negatively affects the return on investment for livestock farmers. Nearly 80% of bovines in the country are low on productivity and reared by small and marginal farmers. In 2014 Rashtriya Gokul Mission was initiated with a focus on the genetic up-gradation of bovines through widespread initiatives of In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF), sex-sorted semen, and artificial insemination.
The revised version of the National Livestock Mission and Rashtriya Gokul Mission seeks to bring entrepreneurship development and breed improvement in buffalo, cattle, sheep, goat, piggery, and poultry. Under this Incentives will be given to Farmer Producers Organisations, individual entrepreneurs, farmer cooperatives, self-help groups, joint liability groups, section 8 companies for entrepreneurship development, and state government for breed improvement infrastructure.
Under Rashtriya Gokul’s mission, the breed multiplication farm is going to provide for capital subsidy up to 200 lakh rupees for setting up the breeding farm with 200 milk buffalo/cows using the latest breeding technologies. The entrepreneur will be responsible for the setting up of the arrangement. Entrepreneurs are expected to get a good return in terms of milk, meat, and other commodities. The strategy of incentivizing breed multiplication farms will result in the employment of 1 lakh farmers.
Web applications like e-Gopala will provide real-time information to livestock farmers on the availability of disease-free germplasm in veterinary care irrelevant centres extra.
The poultry entrepreneurship program under the National livestock mission will provide 25 lakh rupees for setting up a parent form With a capacity to rear 1000 chicks. Under this model, the hatchery is expected to produce at least 500 eggs daily followed by the birth of chicks that in turn reared for four weeks. The entrepreneur will be able to match total revenue to total cost within 18 months. The poultry entrepreneurship program is expected to provide employment to at least 14 lakh people.
There is a provision of capital subsidy up to 50 lakh rupees for sheep and goat entrepreneurship. The entrepreneur under this model shall set up a breed farm and develop the whole chain. Entrepreneurs will eventually be able to sell animals to the farmers or in the open market. Each entrepreneur can avail assistance for a breeder farm with 500 does/ewe and 25 buck/ram animals with high genetic merit from the Central/State government university farms. This model is projected to generate a net profit of more than ₹33 lakh for the entrepreneur per year.
For piggery, the NLM will provide 50% capital subsidy of up to ₹30 lakh. Each entrepreneur will be aided with the establishment of breeder farms with 100 sows and 10 boars, expected to produce 2,400 piglets in a year. A new batch of piglets will be ready for sale every six months. This model is expected to generate a profit of ₹1.37 crore after 16 months and 1.5 lakh jobs.
The revised scheme of the National Livestock Mission and the Rashtriya Gokul Mission with the use of Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund can effectively increase the productivity and standards of our livestock.