Syllabus– General Studies 3(economy)
A major stumbling block faced by Indian farmers pertains to the lack of affordable good quality feed and fodder for livestock.
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- A study by the Indian Grassland and Fodder Research Institute has observed that for every 100 kg of feed required, India is short of 23.4 kg of dry fodder, 11.24 kg of green fodder, and 28.9 kg of concentrate feed.
- This is one of the chief reasons why Indian livestock’s milk productivity is 20%-60% lower than the global average.
- The significance of the Sub-Mission on Fodder and Feed recently announced by the Indian government is underscored by the fact that livestock is the major source of cash income for about 13 crore marginal farmers and is an insurance in the event of crop failure.
- The lack of good quality feed and fodder impacts the productivity levels of cattle.
- As about 200 million Indians are involved in dairy and livestock farming, the scheme is important from the perspective of poverty alleviation.
The Revised National Livestock Mission
- When the National Livestock Mission was launched in 2014, it focused on supporting farmers in producing fodder from non-forest wasteland/grassland, and cultivation of coarse grains.
- However, this model could not sustain fodder availability due to lack of backward and forward linkages in the value chain.
- Therefore, the Mission has been revised to make the programme focus primarily on assistance towards seed production and the development of feed and fodder entrepreneurs.
- It now provides for 50% direct capital subsidy to the beneficiaries under the feed and fodder entrepreneurship programme and 100% subsidy on fodder seed production to identified beneficiaries.
- The Sub-Mission on Fodder and Feed intends to create a network of entrepreneurs who will make silage (the hub) and sell them directly to the farmers (the spoke).
- It is premised on the idea that the funding of the hub will lead to the development of the spoke.
- The large-scale production of silage will bring down the input cost for farmers since silage is much cheaper than concentrate feed.
- Studies have indicated that by growing fodder crops one can earn ₹1.60 by investing ₹1 as compared to ₹1.20 in the case of common cereals like wheat and rice.
- Private entrepreneurs, self-help groups, farmer producer organisations, dairy cooperative societies, and Section 8 companies (NGOs) can avail themselves of the benefits under this scheme.
- The scheme will provide 50% capital subsidy up to ₹50 lakh towards project cost to the beneficiary for infrastructure development and for procuring machinery for value addition in feed such as hay/silage/total mixed ration.
- The scheme can be used for covering the cost of infrastructure/machinery such as bailing units, harvester, chaff cutter, sheds, etc.
- The revised scheme has been designed with the objectives of increasing productivity, reducing input costs, and doing away with middlemen (who usually take a huge cut).
- A major challenge in the feed sector emanates from the fact that good quality green fodder is only available for about three months during the year. So, the ideal solution would be to ferment green fodder and convert it into silage.
- Hence, under the fodder entrepreneurship programme, farmers will receive subsidies and incentives to create a consistent supply chain of feed throughout the year.
- The farmers should be able to grow the green fodder between two crop seasons and entrepreneurs can then convert it into silage and sell it at nearby markets at one-tenth of the price of concentrate/dry feed ensuring affordable quality fodder to dairy farmers.
The Hindu link- https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/more-feed-better-productivity/article35961260.ece
Question- How ensuring good quality feed for cattle can help in increasing productivity and realizing the targets of doubling farmer’s income?