Budget highlights for livestock sector

The livestock sector in India has amassed a momentum that it’s not so easy to pass over this segment, without giving its due. The Govt not only well recognizes it but has also been coming up with plans to add more pace of growth in this sector.
Today, India is among the world’s top producer of milk, egg, meat, and fish and contributes roughly 50% of the overall protein requirement of 1.4 billion people. Indeed, animal-produced protein has a strong correlation with the nutritional health status and quality of life of billions of people.
In this budget as well, the mindset continues towards improving the farmers’ income rather than just focusing on increasing the farm output. The importance of livestock in providing employment is also well recognized. Just to cite a reference, according to the Labor Market Information System (LMIS) report on Dairy Sector, whereas crop production generates employment in the rural workforce for 90 to 120 days in a year, the dairy sector plays a major role in providing alternative employment opportunities for the stakeholders throughout the year. Even during the COVID times, when the non-agricultural sectors were adversely affected, the agricultural sector and particularly the livestock sector came up with a robust growth rate.
One of the noticeable changes observed in COVID times was the shift of animal produce up in the value chain. The incentivizing of digital banking, digital payments, fintech innovations, and encouraging agri startups in partnership with farmers is a welcome highlight of the budget. This will have a ripple effect in the livestock sector and will pace up the growth of value-added product segments, which in turn will help increase the farmers’ income. Also, to be noted that sometime earlier, Govt gave the approval to introduce Production linked Incentive (PLI) in 10 key sectors including the ready to eat/ready to cook milk products like cheese, in the food processing sector. This scheme as such is set to help in branding and marketing support and create a bigger market field of value-added products.
Another welcome sign is that almost 60% enhancement in the allocation of Livestock Health & Disease control for 2022-23 over the previous year will ensure healthier livestock & healthier India through the implementation of ‘One Health Mission’.
by Dr (Capt) Tanweer Alam