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‘Agripreneurs’ Are A Key Driver Towards An Atmanirbhar Bharat
With the lack of alternate raw materials available in the market and unpredictability of other factors, it will be of great benefit to the farmers if all stakeholders of the industry unite to solve these issues and help grow this sector.
Photo Credit : Reuters
India is one of the largest producers of livestock and animal husbandry products in the world. Changing lifestyles and rising per capita income in India has resulted in a shift in dietary habits. The increase in consumption of milk, meat and egg is leading to a growing demand for livestock products. The Indian animal husbandry market reached a value of Rs 930 Billion in 2020. The sector currently contributes 25.6% to the Agricultural GDP and 4.11% to the National GDP which is far below the potential it holds. With a CAGR of 8% for the last few years, it has the potential to grow further if properly incentivized by the government and could lead to manifold increase of farmers’ income.
It is adequate to determine that animal husbandry as an industry can become a huge source of generating employment and livelihood as capital investment to set up business in this sector is less compared to the returns it yields. It can increase protein availability for our country, alleviate the issues related to rural employment and help achieve the food security goals. Especially with all the reverse migration happening across the country due to the ongoing pandemic, animal husbandry can help in rehabilitation of these migrants and support in creating a livelihood for them in their own states. This industry has become technologically advanced over recent years and has not only led to substantial socio-economic benefits such as increased nutritional levels, income, employment, and foreign exchange, but also has created numerous ‘agripreneurs’.
The animal husbandry industry had suffered a huge setback due to COVID 19 and the subsequent lockdown. However, it has been on the path to recovery. The Government of India also realizes this and has introduced several schemes to benefit those in this industry. The announcement of fiscal measures attuned to INR 15,000 crore for Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund and the 3% interest subvention for private players to support investment in dairy, poultry and meat processing units is a welcome move. This will encourage more investment in the livestock sector, domestic wealth creation, with enormous potential to boost the GDP of the country. It will help unleash yet another revolution and growth in rural entrepreneurship followed by improvement of livelihood in rural space. The Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana is another positive step for the development of the sector. The measures announced under this scheme for Fisheries and Shrimp sector aim to boost export and rural employment. This will propel rural entrepreneurship; help make India self-reliant as envisioned by our Hon’ble Prime Minister.
COVID has underlined the need for a healthy diet which helps in building immunity and lot of it can be attributed to the animal husbandry sector, which came under essential commodities. Due to rising population as well, there is a need for innovation and technological interventions to increase production and productivity in animals and provide adequate nutrition to our country which also indicates a potential increase in the demand for livestock feed. The Indian feed industry is undergoing a very exciting phase of growth with an expected CAGR of 15% between 2021 and 2026 to reach a value of almost INR 933.3 billion by 2026. Poultry, aqua and dairy industry occupy the major share in overall feed demand. While the potential feed requirement is huge and stands at around 96 million tonnes, only 20.3 million tonnes is produced. There is a huge scope for upscaling and growth in the sector, with industry becoming more organized. With this growth rate India will soon become the largest feed market in the coming years.
This industry and its potential are a key driver to accomplish Hon’ble Prime Minister’s dream of a $5 trillion dollar economy and an ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’. We need more countrymen, especially the youth, coming forward and join the industry and the benefit that is waiting is tenfold. All segments of the agri-economy are inter-reliant and essential links in the process of country’s overall economic development. It should be Government’s resolve to restructure and reboot the market by infusing more liquidity in the hands of the farmers through increased duration on bank loans, a minimum support price is required to be paid to farmers which includes appropriate growing charge for poultry. This will help farmer entrepreneurs and attract more people to participate in poultry or fisheries farming business in rural areas. With the lack of alternate raw materials available in the market and unpredictability of other factors, it will be of great benefit to the farmers if all stakeholders of the industry unite to solve these issues and help grow this sector.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.