The Animal Husbandry and Fisheries sectors have been an adjunct of Agriculture in the governance structure of the country till the year 2019 when an independent identity was assigned to them through the creation of a new ministry. This has put these sectors on the path of upward progression. The sectors, hitherto low on governance and political priority are now mainstreamed. High time too considering an 8.2% CAGR over the past few years, compared to less than 3% for Agriculture. Buoyed by capital infusion aimed at encouraging investment in infrastructure as against mere administering of subsidy, the sectors hold a promise not envisaged in the past. Now is the time to leverage modern technology and management practices to spiral such growth as would make our livestock and aquaculture globally competitive. And one of the most significant and effective tools is digitalization.
Digitalization could be a strong disrupter of the status quo and hence a means for optimum utilization of our livestock resources through scientific, data-driven rational decision-making.
The database and its resultant algorithms which digitalization creates could be applied across the activities of livestock management, from breed/seed to feed, to health monitoring and surveillance, product output and quality, traceability, consumer choices, etc. These are just a few illustrations; the possibilities are boundless, no less an opportunity to establish the integrity of our livestock and its products. We already are the global leaders in the quantity and volume of production, we should aim to be one in quality and value too. Digitalization could make it happen.
The session on Digital Disruption in Livestock, Poultry, and Aquaculture, therefore, is quite timely. Exposition of the varied facets of the theme by experts and key stakeholders would surely throw up useful ideas and suggestions for the adoption of digital technology leading to significantly increased productivity and quality, and hence the resultant profitability.