Animal Husbandry in India – Types, Importance & more | Free ARD Notes for NABARD

Aspiring candidates looking to appear for the upcoming NABARD Grade- A in June need to put special emphasis on Agricultural and Rural Development. This note on Animal Husbandry in India will help you understand the scenario of rural agriculture, and score good marks in the exam.

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What is Animal Husbandry?

The practice of animal husbandry marked its beginning in the Neolithic Age. Animal husbandry refers to the branch of agriculture concerned with the domestication, care, and breeding of animals including horses, goats, sheep, pigs, dogs, and others to obtain animal products – meat, milk, wool, and leather – and use them for transportation.

Types of Animal Husbandry

The different types of animal husbandry practised in India include the following –

  • Beekeeping
  • Sheep farming
  • Poultry farming
  • Dairy farming
  • Cattle farming

Importance of Animal Husbandry

With the rise in population, the demand for food – meat, eggs, and milk – rises. To be able to meet the rising demands, there has to be a way to increase food production. Animal husbandry in India plays a vital role in narrowing the gap between supply and demand.

  • The climate of India is suitable for sheep farming. It requires little investment and offers good returns in a short period. Moreover, it is a great source of income for landless and marginal farmers.
  • An integral part of crop farming, animal husbandry contributes to household national security.
  • Better breeding and various practices provide better yield and boost GDP.

Animal husbandry boosts livestock production, which can be utilized in the following ways –

  • Dairy products – cheese, yoghurt, ghee, butter
  • Meat – a source of energy and dietary protein
  • Land management – livestock grazing can be a way to control the growth of grass and weeds. In areas that are prone to wildfires, sheep and goat are set to graze on dry shrubs to reduce the risk of fire.
  • Fibre – wool produced from goats and sheep, leather obtained from sheep and deer
  • Labour – domesticated animals like horses, yaks, and donkeys can be used for mechanical energy. Livestock was the only source of non-human labour available before the invention of steam power. A large section of people is still dependent on these animals for ploughing and transportation of goods.
  • Fertilizer – spreading manure on agricultural fields increase crop yields. This is one of the reasons, why the domestication of animals and plants has been associated closely. Manure can also be used as fuel for the fire.

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Government Schemes Related to Animal Husbandry

The government schemes primarily comprise various acts, mission, and rules.

  • The National Livestock Mission covers all sorts of activities essential to guarantee a qualitative and quantitative improvement in livestock production systems and capacity building of the stakeholders. The objective of the scheme is to achieve sustainable development of livestock and focus on improving the availability of quality feed and fodder.
  • The National Programme for Bovine Breeding and Dairy Development was initiated by merging four ongoing schemes of the Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairy and Fisheries, namely National Project for Cattle and Buffalo Breeding, Strengthening Infrastructure for Quality and Clean Milk Production, Assistance to Co-operatives, and Intensive Dairy Development Programme. The objective was to integrate dairy activities and milk production in a holistic and scientific manner, to meet higher levels of productivity and demand in the country.

With continuous inflation, rising population and a major portion of rural India depending primarily on agriculture, the practice of animal husbandry is no longer a choice but a requirement. Its skilful, sustainable and successful implementation will go a long way in enhancing the socio-economic condition of the lower strata of our society. Associating animal husbandry with agriculture and the food processing industry has the potential of turning India into the world’s nutritional powerhouse.

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That is all from us in this Free ARD Notes blog on Animal Husbandry. Keep checking this space for NABARD Exam updates, Study Materials, and Mock Tests.

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