More feed, better productivity (On Sub-Mission on Fodder and Feed)

Source: The Hindu

Relevance: livestock sector in India, doubling farmers income

Synopsis: Government has recently announced Sub-Mission on Fodder and Feed for livestock sector.

Background

About 200 million Indians are involved in dairy and livestock farming, but lack of quality fodder and feed has resulted in sub-optimal productivity levels.

Issues with livestock sector
  • Lack of fodder: 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.
  • Lack of fodder leads to low milk productivity: Indian livestock’s milk productivity is 20%-60% lower than the global average.
What is the need of revised scheme?
  • 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.
  • But this model could not sustain fodder availability due to lack of backward and forward linkages in the value chain. The 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.

Also, the significance of Sub-Mission on Fodder and Feed 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.

Features of Sub-Mission on Fodder and Feed

Objective: increasing productivity, reducing input costs, and doing away with middlemen.

Availability of green fodder

  1. Under the fodder entrepreneurship programme, farmers will receive subsidies and incentives to create a consistent supply chain of green fodder throughout the year.
  2. 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.
  3. It 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.
  4. It intends to create a network of entrepreneurs who will make silage (the hub) and sell them directly to the farmers (the spoke).
  5. The large-scale production of silage will bring down the input cost for farmers since silage is much cheaper than concentrate feed.
  6. The scheme will provide 50% capital subsidy up to ₹50 lakh towards project cost for infrastructure development and for procuring machinery for value addition.
Who can avail the benefit?

Private entrepreneurs, self-help groups, farmer producer organisations, dairy cooperative societies, and Section 8 companies (NGOs).

Conclusion

An effective implementation of the scheme will play a major role in increasing the return on investment for our farmers.

 

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