Small farm households earned 16 percent of their income from livestock, compared to 14 percent for all rural households. Two-thirds of rural communities rely on livestock for their livelihood. It also employs approximately 8.8% of India’s population.
India has a large livestock population. The livestock industry accounts for 4.11 percent of overall GDP and 25.6 percent of total agriculture GDP.
The global market for animal-based foods is growing at a rapid pace. This industry presently has a lot of export potential because its exports far outnumber its overall imports.
The situation improved in the early 1990s as a result of increased meat and meat product exports and a large decrease in milk and milk product imports.
The process of trade liberalization and government initiatives in recent years has undoubtedly lifted the country’s livestock exports to new heights, as seen by the growing surplus of livestock trade earnings in recent years.
The livestock-agriculture-commons combination is the bedrock of rural livelihoods; it provides a measure of stability, security, and control to poor and marginalized people. In India, family cattle ranching has traditionally relied on commons and agricultural wastes to feed their cattle, leaving arable land for agriculture.
With the growing human population and greater demand for cereals, seeds, fruits, and vegetables, this delineation makes even more sense.
In fact, with the national average stagnant at 4 to 5% for the last 60 years, family farms can spare very little area for cultivating fodder for cattle.
Speaking of numbers, In India, milk is the second most important agricultural product after rice. India is the world’s leading milk producer, accounting for 18.5% of global milk production.
After Brazil and Australia, India is the largest exporter of buffalo meat and the third-largest exporter of meat. Since 1969, India has been exporting meat, both fresh and frozen, to a number of nations, with Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, Australia, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt being the top importers of Indian bovine meat and other meat.
Also, Poultry is one of the most rapidly increasing segments of the Indian agriculture industry. With 82.93 billion eggs produced and sixth place in broiler meat production, India’s poultry business grew at the fastest rate in the world.
India’s large ruminant population contributes to greenhouse gas emissions. It will be a big challenge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through mitigation and adaptation techniques.
Crossbreeding indigenous species with exotic stocks to improve the genetic potential of various species has only been partially effective.
The acquisition and supply of high-quality raw animal products continue to be hampered by a lack of cold-chain infrastructure and insufficient support infrastructures, such as roads and unpredictable power supplies.
Inadequate knowledge of scientific livestock husbandry and clean milk/meat production procedures, as well as a low adoption rate. Also, The amount of money spent on livestock research is not proportional to the amount of money made.
However, India’s policymakers are finally recognizing a fundamental shift in the agriculture industry that has been apparent for a decade.
Livestock currently accounts for a fifth of agriculture’s total GDP (GDP). The livestock sector is doing well in terms of the dairy, fishery, wool, poultry, and other goods production, value addition, and export.
Apart from its performance, it faces several threats, which we must overcome in order to seize worldwide market chances.