A Decade of Transformative Initiatives and Reforms in India’s Animal Health and Feed Industry

Since 2014, the government has undertaken significant initiatives and implemented reforms aimed at bolstering India’s animal health sector & feed industry. These progressive efforts have not only benefited farmers but have also spurred growth in the animal health industry, enhanced domestic and export markets, fostered academic research, and promoted skill development across various segments.

Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana (PMKSY)
Launched in 2017, PMKSY to modernize the food processing sector, including the animal feed industry, by providing financial assistance, infrastructure development, and promoting innovation.

Impact: The scheme has facilitated the establishment of modern feed processing units, enhancing feed quality and availability, and thereby improving animal health and productivity.

National Livestock Mission (NLM)
NLM, initiated in 2014, targets sustainable development of the livestock sector by promoting breed improvement, livestock insurance, and disease control measures.

Impact: Livestock productivity has increased, leading to higher incomes for farmers. Disease control measures have reduced mortality rates, contributing to overall sectoral growth.

According to data from the Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying, Government of India, milk production has consistently increased from 137.7 million tonnes in 2014-15 to 198.4 million tonnes in 2020-21.

This rise can be attributed to various factors including improved animal health through vaccination programs, better feed quality, and breed improvement initiatives under schemes like NLM and NADCP.

Livestock Health & Disease Control Programs
Various programs have been launched to control and eradicate livestock diseases, such as Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) and Brucellosis.

Impact: Reduced disease incidence has resulted in healthier livestock populations, leading to increased milk and meat production, benefiting both farmers and consumers.

National Animal Disease Control Program (NADCP)
Launched in 2019, NADCP aims to vaccinate livestock against FMD and Brucellosis to improve milk productivity and enhance farmers’ income.

Impact: Vaccination coverage has increased substantially, mitigating the economic losses caused by these diseases and enhancing farmers’ livelihoods.

The implementation of disease control programs such as NADCP has led to a significant reduction in livestock mortality rates.

For instance, the mortality rate due to Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) decreased from 3.91% in 2014 to 2.02% in 2019, as reported by the Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying.

Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund (AHIDF)
Launched in 2019, AHIDF aims to support infrastructure development in the animal health sector, including dairy processing, meat processing, animal feed plants, breed improvement, technology & breed multiplication farms. The initial corpus of AHIDF was set at INR 15,000 crore (approximately USD 2 billion) under the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan stimulus package.

AHIDF is poised to unlock the full potential of India’s animal husbandry sector, fostering sustainability, competitiveness, and prosperity for stakeholders across the value chain.

Impact: AHIDF addresses critical gaps in infrastructure such as processing facilities, cold chains, and value-addition units, thereby boosting the productivity and competitiveness of the livestock industry.

Various projects related to dairy processing, meat processing, and cold chain infrastructure have been sanctioned and are in various stages of implementation across different states.

Rashtriya Gokul Mission (RGM)
Launched in December 2014 by the Government of India to conserve and promote indigenous cattle breeds, enhancing their productivity, and improving the genetic stock.
The initial outlay for the mission was INR 500 crore (approximately USD 68 million) for the period 2014-15 to 2016-17.

Subsequently, the funding has been augmented to INR 750 crore (approximately USD 102 million) for the period 2019-20 to 2024-25.

Impact: RGM has led to the identification, documentation, and conservation of numerous indigenous cattle breeds across different regions of India, safeguarding their genetic diversity. Through its multi-faceted approach encompassing conservation, breeding, promotion, and capacity building, RGM has made significant strides in enhancing the productivity and sustainability of indigenous cattle breeds, thereby benefiting farmers, rural communities, and the nation.

Promotion of Feed Industry, Feed Supplements, and Additives
The feed industry has witnessed robust growth, with market size expanding considerably over the past decade. According to a report by the National Institute of Animal Nutrition and Physiology (NIANP), the compound feed market in India was valued at around USD 16.5 billion in 2020, with a projected CAGR of 7.5% from 2021 to 2026.

The government has encouraged the use of quality feed supplements and additives to enhance animal nutrition and health.

Impact: Improved nutrition has led to better growth rates, reproduction, and overall health of livestock, translating into higher farm incomes.

This growth can be attributed to increased demand for quality feed driven by initiatives promoting livestock productivity and health.

Skill Development Initiatives
Skill development initiatives in animal husbandry, feed processing, and veterinary care have contributed to employment generation and enhanced workforce capabilities.

Impact: Skilled manpower has improved service delivery, quality assurance, and innovation within the animal health and feed industry, fostering its growth.

According to the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, over 1.5 million individuals have been trained in various skills related to animal husbandry and dairy processing between 2014 and 2020.

Export Promotion
India’s exports of meat, dairy products, and animal by-products have witnessed significant growth over the years. The government has facilitated export promotion initiatives, including capacity building, market access, and quality assurance measures, to boost exports of livestock products.

Impact: India has witnessed a significant increase in exports of meat, dairy products, and animal by-products, contributing to foreign exchange earnings and economic growth.
According to data from the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), exports of meat and meat products increased from USD 5.85 billion in 2014-15 to USD 7.79 billion in 2020-21, while exports of dairy products rose from USD 0.84 billion to USD 1.48 billion during the same period.

These export figures highlight the success of export promotion initiatives and improvements in product quality and compliance with international standards.

Investment in Research and Innovation
The government has allocated substantial funds for research and innovation in the animal health and feed sectors.
According to data from the Ministry of Finance, the budget allocation for the Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying increased from INR 1,304.63 crore in 2014-15 to INR 3,060.53 crore in 2021-22, reflecting the government’s commitment to research and development in these areas.

Collaboration Between Research Institutes & Industry
The government has promoted collaboration between research institutes and industry for technology transfer and capacity building.

Example: Transfer of technology for sheep vaccine production and control of lumpy skin disease.
Impact: Collaboration has facilitated the transfer of knowledge, expertise, and technology from research institutes to industry, enabling the development of indigenous solutions for livestock diseases, improving disease management practices, and enhancing the competitiveness of the domestic animal health industry.

Ease of doing business & One Window Clearance
Ease of doing business through an online portal and the introduction of a one-window clearance mechanism streamlines regulatory processes for licensing, approval, and certification related to animal health products and facilities.

Impact: Simplified regulatory procedures have reduced bureaucratic hurdles, expedited approvals, and promoted ease of doing business in the animal health sector, fostering investment, innovation, and growth.

The government’s initiatives and reforms in the animal health sector, feed industry, and related domains have yielded substantial benefits for farmers, industry stakeholders, and the economy at large. Through targeted policies, investments, and capacity-building efforts, the government has not only improved animal health and productivity but has also stimulated innovation, enhanced market competitiveness, and fostered sustainable growth across the livestock value chain. Moving forward, continued emphasis on research, technology adoption, and stakeholder collaboration will be crucial for sustaining these achievements and further advancing the sector’s development agenda.

by Dr Shirish Nigam, Ew Nutrition