Around 200 million Indians work in dairy and animal farming, but low production is due to a shortage of high-quality fodder and feed. According to the Indian Grassland and Fodder Research Institute, India lacks 23.4 kg of dry fodder, 11.24 kg of green fodder, and 28.9 kg of concentrate feed for every 100 kg of feed required. The milk production of Indian animals is 20 percent to 60 percent lower than the world average.
Why the shortage
- Farmers opted for mustard crop in place of wheat in northern Indian plains
- Early onset of summer coupled with an exceptional rise in temperatures that caused significant loss to the tune of 4-8 quintals per acre in wheat yield. Wheat straw is widely used as animal fodder.
- Seasonal availability is a big issue in the feed industry since good-quality green fodder is only accessible for roughly three months of the year.
- Cattle production is impacted by a shortage of high-quality feed and fodder.
- This is one of the main reasons why milk output in Indian cattle is 20 percent to 60 percent lower than the world norm.
- Feed accounts for 60 percent to 70 percent of milk production expenses, according to the breakdown of input costs.
- The increasing livestock population and government focus on genetic advancement of cattle by cross-breeding programmes will definitely lead to a crisis if appropriate measures are not put in place to bridge the demand-supply gap.
- Production of certified fodder seeds, fodder blocks and azolla, silage and hay preparation, feed pelleting, hydroponic fodder production are some of the potential areas which can be promoted as entrepreneurial activities.
- Infrastructure facilities like silage and hay balers, fodder block making units, chaff cutter, crop harvesters, pivot irrigation equipment etc along with all the facilities required should be supported.
- Construction of more fodder banks at the block level of all fodder-stressed districts must be a policy focus.
- Fermenting green fodder and turning it into silage would be the ideal option.
- Farmers will get subsidies and incentives under the fodder entrepreneurship programme in order to build a stable supply chain of feed throughout the year.
How to structure
- Give a brief intro about India’s cattle production with data.
- Briefly explain why there is a shortage in feed and fodder
- Mention the effect of this shortage
- Suggest measures and connect to schemes