Representational image /Poultry farm
Representational image /Poultry farm
ARTEM BELIAIKIN

The Free Press Journal-SIES series on The Future of Agriculture now moves on to its third episode with its focus on livestock. The theme is ‘Animal Husbandry - Economics and Fallacies’ and it will be held on July 30, 3 pm onwards.

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This upcoming session will talk about the huge livestock population India has – India has the world’s largest population of cattle – and examines the socio-economic issues involved in this type of farming.

It examines how social norms and even laws have often shaped the destiny not just of livestock ownership but also of other related professions.

Finally, it looks at the growing relevance (and profitability) of the animal semen market (artificial insemination) and of discovering ways to ensure that, largely, fewer male species are born, so that the farmer can ensure more milk-producing cattle. It will look at government financing schemes to promote this line of business.

The panellists are (in alphabetical order) Juan F Moreno, CEO, Sexing Technologies (BAIF); Arun Raste, Executive Director, NDDB; and KV Shaji, Deputy Managing Director, NABARD.

During this COVID-19-induced-lockdown, India's economy is expected to grow by 2.5 per cent due to agriculture and allied activities. It is considered as the ‘green shoots’ at this time of crisis. But there is some risk governing the sector even though monsoons were above normal and distributed evenly across the country. It has to be noted that when agriculture falters, it is the allied activities which are predominantly livestock that helps average outgrowth. As per the Crisil report, while the share of crops in the agriculture sector’s gross value added (GVA) is the largest, it is also the most volatile in terms of performance. “It is the only sector that showed negative performance during some years in the past decade.” Meanwhile, the livestock, though only half the size of crops, plays a crucial role in driving the agricultural GVA growth. “Its role attains prominence particularly in years when crops take a hit.”

Livestock plays an important role, especially in years when crops suffer
Livestock plays an important role, especially in years when crops suffer
Crisil

In the livestock sector, milk is the largest contributor with a two-thirds share, followed by meat and eggs. Despite lockdown, the consumption of milk has been more or less the same. The contraction in demand on account of closed hotels and restaurants/catering services has hurt it. So, while milk was resilient to the disruptions caused by the Coronavirus (thanks to the Kurien vision of cooperatives and private sector players like Hatsun) many other sectors were hit including meat, eggs, fish and aquaculture. Moreover, many people are reducing the consumption of non-vegetarian food during the pandemic, revealed the Crisil report.

Crops are the mainstay of the farm economy
Crops are the mainstay of the farm economy
Crisil

Other webinars from agriculture series:

Complete playlist here:

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